Despite continued promises of additional funds made by the federal government, striking lecturers say they will continue with their action until a 2009 agreement is implemented.
The federal government had on Wednesday agreed to add N10billion to the initially released N30billion for the earned allowance of the university staff and a plan to inject between N600 and N800 billion into the universities before 2017.
However, the union insisted on the 2009 agreement, noting that President Goodluck Jonathan was part of the negotiation.
“It was this same Mr President that mid-wifed the agreement in 2009 when he was the Vice President. The MoU was in his custody. He studied the agreement well before asking then President Umaru Yar’Adua to sign it. We can’t trust this government,” the union lamented.
Reacting to the government offer last night, the national treasurer of ASUU, Ademola Aremu, said the offer failed to meet the teachers’ expectations.
He noted that the union is not making any new demand but asking for a mere implementation of an agreement. He pointed out that the MOU signed by both parties in 2009 stated that the government would commit N1.5 trillion to the system in three years.
Aremu maintained that ASUU would not end the strike until the 2009 agreement is fully implemented by injecting N500 billion into the universities yearly to shore up the system’s quality.
“Even if the Federal Government made that promise, it would be a unilateral repudiation of the 2009 agreement. By now, the government should have injected N500 billion. That amounts to N100 billion in 2012 and N400 billion in the current year,” Aremu added.
Aremu stated that what the union requested is the actual implementation of the agreement reached and not promises.
“What if they do not release the funds again after making the promise”? he queried.