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N320.35bn Fund: ASUU applauds government’s approval, seeks redistribution to tertiary institutions

President Muhammadu Buhari (l) and Prof. Emmanuel Sodeke, President of ASUU

*Prof. Emmanuel Sodeke, President of Academic Staff Union of Universities, seeks a redistribution of the intervention fund, to ensure that 90 percent of what has been approved goes to Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education, and not kept as ‘bureaucracy’ in the system

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has hailed the Federal Government for the approval of N320.35billion fund for tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

ConsumerConnect learnt Prof. Emmanuel Sodeke, President of ASUU, who described the fund as “a good development”, however, called for the redistribution of the N320.35billion intervention fund approved by the Federal Government for tertiary institutions in the country for accountability.

President Muhammadu Buhari during the week approved the sum of N320,345,040,835 as the 2023 intervention funds for public tertiary education institutions in the West African country.

Sonny Echono, Executive Secretary of TETFund,  disclosed this Wednesday, April 5, in Abuja, FCT, during the Fund’s annual strategic planning workshop with all heads of beneficiary institutions.

Echono noted the meeting was an avenue to receive feedback and evaluate the performance of its intervention lines to enhance a more robust delivery of the agency’s mandate, report said.

The Executive Secretary of TETFund also stated in the 2023 intervention cycle, each public University will be receiving N1,154,732,133.00; Polytechnic – N699,344,867.00, while each College of Education would get N800,862,602 respectively.

The need for redistribution of intervention fund, by ASUU

Prof. Osodeke, in an interview with Channels TV Thursday, April 6 stressed the need for redistribution of the approved fund.

The ASUU President called for a redistribution of the fund in order to ensure that it accounts for 90 percent of what has been approved to go to Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges, and not kept as bureaucracy.

Sodeke explained: “When you check the allocation of about N1.2 billion to universities and others, you find out that the total for all the universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education come to just about N186 billion allocated out of about N320, leaving a balance of N132 billion that has not been accounted for.

“What are we using that N132 billion which is 41% of the total amount of money? Is it for bureaucracy or for what?”

He further stated: “This is what has been happening in TETFund, and I think there is a need to examine what exactly is happening at TETFund.

“The idea of this TETFund when it was negotiated by ASUU was that this money will come and be distributed to the universities, not keeping 41% for whatever purpose.

The ASUU President said: “I think we need a redistribution of this fund to ensure that it accounts for 90% of what has been approved to go to universities, polytechnic and not kept as bureaucracy or whatever. “You need to tell the public what TETFund is doing with the balance of N132 billion.”

ASUU lauds Federal Government for fund approval

Meanwhile, Osodeke has commended the Nigerian Government for the approval of the fund.

However, he stated: “It (N320.35billion fund) is a good development, this is part of what we struggled for in 1994.

“It is our struggle, but there are issues we need to sort out.”

According to him, the lady prolonged strike issues are not yet resolved.

The academic association noted the Federal Government is yet to meet the ASUU’s demands since the lecturers suspended their strike last year.

After the union called off its eight-month strike, Osodeke disclosed that the Federal Government had not called a meeting with the lecturers.

He stated: “As far as this present government is concerned, once the strike is over, the issue is resolved, unknown to them that a strike is a symptom of a problem.

“They have abandoned the problem. Since we called off the strike based on a court directive, not a single meeting has been called. Not a kobo has been paid.”

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