The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called on state governments to consider paying the state-owned universities the monies and arrears accruing to them, from the money they received from the Federal Government on the excess deductions made from their accounts in the Paris Club payments.
Speaking in a chat with journalists, the National President of the union, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, lamented that most of the state governors who have drawn up plans on how to spend the money, are owing their workers many months salaries, not to talk of their failure to meet their obligations of paying their monthly subventions to the universities for many months.
According to him, this sad development has made the universities to live from hand to mouth, as it were, from their internally generated revenues. “Our governors have been approaching banks to draw their Paris Club refunds but none of them is considering payment of their debts to the universities,” he said. “For instance, Ogun State Government has not paid its subvention to the state universities for more than 20 months and similar thing is happening in Ondo and Bayelsa States, among many others.”
Ogunyemi who commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State for his decision to earmark N1 billion for the Osun State University and the jointly owned Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), said that the appeal has become necessary to avoid unnecessary war between the unions and governors, that could lead to disruption of academic activities.
“As we are facing the Federal Government at the centre, we expect the state governors to also fulfil their commitments to the universities,” he said. “ASUU does not like to embark on strike but at the same time we don’t like being pushed to the wall. I think so far, only Governor Aregbesola of Osun State has done well by earmarking N1 billion for the universities.”