The Nigerian government has been characterized as disingenuous and misleading by the Academic Staff Union of Universities ( ASUU ) Kano Zone for failing to honor the Memorandum of Action (MoA) signed on December 23 of last year.
Professor Abdulkadir Muhammad, the chairman of the zone, told journalists at the union’s headquarters at Bayero University Kano yesterday that as part of the agreement, the government agreed to inject N30 billion as a tranche of a N220 billion fund for the revitalization of Nigerian public universities, but that the money had not been released for 222 days.
The ASUU zone’s chairman, who represents seven institutions in Kano, Kaduna, and Jigawa states, urged the government to address the expansion of state-owned universities as soon as possible in order to save the country’s educational system.
According to Muhammad, the government had also promised to release N25 billion to universities by May this year as part of the payment of Earned Academic Allowance (EAA), lamenting that “as at today, the government is yet to release the fund.”
He also expressed displeasure over the government’s failure to honour the agreement it signed in February, through the Ministry of Budget and Planning to release N170 billion as the balance of N220 billion, adding that “however, the government, in its usual manner of deceit, has yet to convene this meeting, not to talk of releasing the agreed balance.
The federal government claimed, according to the chairman, that a bill amending the Nigeria University Commission (NUC) Act to empower it to handle the proliferation of state-owned universities was currently before the National Assembly.
“Because of inadequate governance and underfunding of such colleges, we called on the National Assembly to review and adopt the measure as soon as possible.
“He also stated definitely that our state-owned universities are on the verge of collapse because visitors to such campuses have converted their establishment into a project for satisfying the electorate in their senatorial and state constituencies.