*ISSUES IN CONTENTION*
A year after, the Federal government went to town, apparently to malign ASUU that it has released the sum of N20billion to the union for revitalisation! Meanwhile only university administrations get credited for funds allocated to Universities.
It is even more saddening that no N20billion has been released so far. The Union was also angered by the hard-line stance of the leader of Government renegotiation of ASUU/FGN agreements.
Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN) who the Union reportedly said only new agreements should be discussed while previous agreements and MoU/MoA (1992, 2001, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2017) should be discarded! This led to the breakdown of renegotiation. ASUU felt insulted and pained that it lost many brilliant Nigerians like Professor Festus Iyayi to the struggle.
While the union acknowledged that some progress has been made in payment of shortfall in salaries, in a letter written to the Minister of Education on October 2018, ASUU asked government to pay many outstanding balances. He asked Minister to ensure her loyal members in University of Ilorin who were excluded in the payment of academic allowances get paid.
Other issues are the failure to release operational license to the Nigerian University Employees Pension Company, NUPEMCO. The Union has only been given Approval in letter and cannot hit the ground running. It feels government is frustrating it because operating pension fund administrators are friends of government.
Another reason is the planned reintroduction of Education Bank by government.
The scheme had failed before for some reasons including fraudulent management by the ruling class. In 2018, 1,653, 127 candidates wrote Joint Admission and Matriculation Examinations, JAMB. About ninety-four percent of this figure picked public varsities. Only six percent chose private universities owned by the ruling class. Is it not a wise policy that a government of vision invest in this critical sector where the interest of her future lies? Is it not unfortunate to be governed by uneducated or unappreciative educated capitalist cohorts whose pre-occupation is to train their children abroad to return home and get jobs in NNPC, CBN, FIRS, Customs and Immigration.
_To be continue_