The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has revealed that the Federal Government owes it N124bn earned academic allowance between 2013 and 2016.
The Calabar zone of ASUU said, at a press conference in Calabar, Cross River State, that the federal government still owes it money which the body earned, in addition to accumulated N495 accumulated arrears.
The chairperson of the University of Calabar branch, Dr. Tony Eyang, speaking on behalf of the union, said the situation has disturbed the running of universities, cautioning that the body could not longer ensure safety on campuses as a result of the unpredictable nature of the circumstance.
“The union listed the uncertainties to include the non-implementation of the 2009 ASUU-Federal Government agreement and Memorandum of Understanding of 2013, non-release of the revitalisation fund for universities, non-payment of Earned Academic Allowances and the payment of salaries in fractions since December 2015,” Punch report.
Others include frustration resulting from the application of the Treasury Single Account which they said was incompatible with the running of universities; as well as government’s unilateral proscription of the post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination test.”
Still speaking on behalf of the zone which comprises ASUU members from the University of Calabar, University of Uyo, Cross River University of Technology, Akwa Ibom State University, Abia State University and Ebonyi State University, Mr. Eyang said that the numerous issues which he termed “unresolved”, were capable of bringing down the educational system in the country.
“Presently, a huge cloud of uncertainty hangs over the University system in our country due to a number of unresolved issues. The earned academic allowances being owed lecturers in all the universities between 2013 to 2016 has reached N124bn.
“You would recall that for six months in 2013 ASUU waged a struggle for the revitalisation of our universities through the implementation of the 2009 agreement. It is indeed depressing that there has been no indication of seriousness on the part of the FG to honour the MoU reached in November 2013 as a road map to the implementation of that agreement.
“This is in spite of the understanding demonstrated by the Union, which in our opinion, has been taken for granted. For instance, the funds for revitalization of Universities have not been released for some time now contrary to the Agreement, thus piling the arrears to N495bn.
“Another development is the inexplicable payment of salaries in fractions in federal universities since December 2015- a situation that has brought about a lot of frustration and embarrassment on our campuses. At best, government’s explanation for this unjust act has been cloudy.
“As it is, ASUU can no longer guarantee industrial peace on our campuses, as academic staff think government has taken them for a ride,” he said.
He added that the situation had also divested universities of its autonomy.