The lecturers have been on strike for over 8 weeks.
President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday said there was no need for the Academic Staff Union of Universities to continue with their industrial action.
Mr. Jonathan said this at the inauguration of the Federal Government sponsored-Transformation Projects at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO).
Represented by Ruqayyat Rufai, the Minister of Education, the president said N30 billion had been released for the payment of earned allowances in all public universities.
The president said that the inaugurated projects were in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to providing quality education in the country. He said the projects were based on the need assessment exercise conducted by the Federal Government in universities.
University lecturers have been on a nationwide strike for over 8 weeks with the lecturers demanding a full implementation of a 2009 agreement it had with the federal government. While the government says it has provided N30 billion for earned allowances of lecturers, the lecturers said about N92 billion is required to completely offset the earned allowances of the concerned lecturers. That and other demands are the reasons the lecturers have continued with their strike.
Mr. Jonathan also urged the FUTO administration to engage in research for national development, while stressing the need for proper maintenance of completed projects.
The Vice Chancellor of FUTO, Chidozie Asiabaka, in his speech, expressed joy at the completion of the structure.
Mr. Asiabaka noted that the projects had gone a long way in tackling the dearth of basic infrastructure in the school.
“The dearth of classrooms, lecture theatres, power supply, student hostels, office accommodation, library space and facilities are major challenges my administration faced when I assumed office two years-ago,’’ he said.
The vice chancellor said with the intervention of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, the university got 1000 sitting-capacity lecture theatre, Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies Building.
He said the inaugurated projects are the new Engineering Technology, School of Environmental Technology Building, Centre for Nuclear Energy Studies and Training and the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology building complexes.
The others are the School of Environmental Technology building, landscaping of the campus and the provision of solar energy lights on the campus.
He also commended the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on the completion of the giant student hostel building in the university.
He lauded the Federal Government for the release of N1 billion for the development of capital projects in each public funded university.
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