The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Monday, urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to prevail on the executive secretary of the National Universities Commission, NUC, to account for the N100 billion annual stabilization fund provided by the Federal Government to the Commission for improvement of facilities in the nation’s government-owned universities.
Chairman of the Nsukka Zone of ASUU, Dr. Chidi Osuagwu, at a media briefing on the on-going strike action embarked upon by university lecturers in the country at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, accused the NUC boss of being a cog in the wheel of university education and development in Nigeria, adding that the strike would not have become necessary if the annual stabilization fund was properly managed.
He said: “We have not seen anything done with the stabilization fund. If the NUC has been spending the money as expected, there would not have been this strike in the first place as the issues demanded by ASUU would have been taken care of.
“The EFCC and other responsible agencies of government should investigate this matter in the interest of the growth of education in the country. ASUU embarked on the current strike as a result of the failure of the federal government to implement the agreement it willingly entered into with ASUU in October, 2009.
“Between 2009 and 2011, ASUU had made serious efforts in getting the government to implement the agreement by even embarking on warning strikes, but government on its side paid deaf ears to these efforts.
“It is important to inform the public that the current strike by ASUU is not meant to make any fresh demands on government, but simply and squarely to ask government to rise to the challenges of responsible governance by fulfilling the provisions of an agreement which it freely signed four years ago.”
According to him, ASUU feels embarrassed by the rumours making the rounds that the on-going strike would be called off tomorrow, Thursday, insisting that the strike would continue unless the 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement is fully implemented.
Osuagwu argued that Nigeria has adequate resources to properly fund education in the country, describing as regrettable a situation whereby the country spends 25 percent of its budget on members of the national assembly, but cannot meet the 26 percent requirement for the funding of education as prescribed by the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organization, UNESCO.