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  • Falana Urges FG Over Approval Of N200bn To Redress ASUU Strike
  •  Falana Says Current Climate Insecurity Of Nigeria May Affect 2023 General Election

    Femi Falana, a distinguished lawyer and human rights activist, has requested that President Muhammadu Buhari present an additional budget for the allocation of the N200 billion needed to renovate federal colleges across the nation.

    This will go a long way toward ending the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike, which has paralysed public universities since February, according to Mr. Falana.

    President Buhari’s latest bemoaning of the protracted strike, according to Mr. Falana, was superfluous.

    He also criticised the Federal Government’s assertion that it lacks the resources to comply with ASUU’s demands, pointing out that it has allotted trillions to deal with matters like fuel subsidies and agricultural policies.

    Falana said;

    Instead of addressing the outstanding grey areas in the prolonged negotiations, President Muhammadu Buhari who is the Visitor to all federal universities in the country has urged the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to consider the long-term effect of the strike on students and the generational consequences on families, the educational system and the future development of the country.

    A government that can afford to spend trillions of Naira on the aforesaid projects cannot afford to ignore the funding of higher education. Therefore, the federal government should adopt concrete measures to end the ASUU strike without any further delay. Instead of lamenting over the strike, President Buhari should urgently submit a Supplementary budget to the National Assembly for the appropriation of the sum of N200 billion required to revamp the federal universities. This demand is in accordance with the FG/ASUU Agreement whose terms are binding on the Federal Government. The National Assembly, concerned parents, progressive civil society bodies and other relevant stakeholders should prevail on President Buhari to do the needful with a view to ending the strike without any further delay.

    ASUU embarked on a four-week warning strike on February 14.

    On March 14, the union extended the industrial action by another two months to allow the government meets all of its demands. A 12-week extension was announced on May 9.

    Since May 9, the union has remained on strike, vowing to persist until its demands are met.

    The academics are seeking improved welfare, revitalisation of public universities, and academic autonomy among other demands.

    One bone of contention for academics is the non-payment of university revitalisation funds, which amounts to about N1.1 trillion.

    But the Federal Government has said it doesn’t have the money to pay such an amount, citing low oil prices during the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

    The agreement was reportedly struck in 2009.

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