The Federal Government has said it released N163 billion to the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund(TETFund).
This was announced by the Minister of Labour, Sen. Chris Ngige to newsmen after another meeting with ASUU on Monday in Abuja.
The Union had rejected the N15.4 billion released by FG at the last meeting.
According to Ngige, “today we have agreed to fund revitalisation.
“Government has released about N163 billion from TETFund account to universities.
“So, we have gotten some substantial agreement in most of the areas of the agreement.”
“Most of the issues have been resolved, so they are going to go back to their members and present government’s offer to their council,‘’ he said.
He stated that the Union had not demanded N50 billion to call off the strike.
“These are debts of 2009, owed by the past administration, that is 2009 to 2012, so it is not our own debt and we have been doing a lot to settle these debts.
“So, we will be reconvening at the instance of ASUU, they said they want to go and consult with their members and they cannot call off the strike without consulting with their members,’’ he said.
He had also spoke about how concerned about the situation, the president was. He revealed his orders from President Buhari.
“The president has directed me to pass the night here until all issues that have kept our children away from schools are resolved and strike called off.
“He has also directed me to impress upon you, the imperative of little sacrifice from all sides, knowing fully well that the revenue of the federation has dwindled from what it was before the present administration assumed office,” he said.
The ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said that the strike was still on until further perusal of the Government’s proposal by the Union. He said some grey areas still needed to be addressed.
“The most critical area is the revitalisation, because it is central to our work, as academics and unless that area is addressed our members will have issues with ongoing action.
“We also did not ask for N50 billion, we are saying that the minimum we expect government to release in order to reactive the revitalisation fund is N50 billion.
“So, the strike is still on,’’ he said.