The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday extended its strike indefinitely after failing to reach an agreement with the federal government.
The two met at a meeting held at the University of Abuja on Sunday and engaged in tough discussions that ended in ASUU announcing that the ongoing strike of 196 days has been extended indefinitely.
The Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Goong, said President Muhammadu Buhari had done everything possible to ensure an end to the strike, but ASUU had remained adamant despite the Federal Government meeting almost 80% of the union’s demands.
He said, “As regards the next steps, the government has already inaugurated a committee to harmonise the IPPIS, UTAS, and UP3. This will ensure that the government will pay with only one payment platform that will harmonise all the technical peculiarities.
“If you bring some demands and almost 80% have been attended to, there is no need to drag the strike anymore.
“It is unreasonable for the strike to be lingering seeing as the government has worked towards fulfilling most of the demands.”
Meanwhile, Ekiti State University (EKSU) has joined other state universities to declare open academic activities. The state university asked all its students to resume today, August 29, 2022.
On Monday, the Campaign for Equal Rights and Opportunities for all Nigerians (CERON) said ASUU has lost all sympathy of parents and students. CERON blamed the union for unreasonable demands and insensitivity given the months Nigerian students had spent at home in 2022 alone.
Mr. Francis Odiir, the organisation secretary, said “Most Nigerian homes are in somber mood since the news of the decision of ASUU to declare an indefinite strike, after keeping students at home for six months, broke.
“It is really unfortunate that after Nigerians appealed to the union to make concessions by considering the pains of the students and their parents and call off the action, they rather resolved to call an indefinite action.
“It is sad that they chose this path after the appeals from Nigerians considering the fact that other associations in public universities have all called off their action after similar appeals from Nigerians and the government.
“Their decision is outright insensitivity to the plight of the students and parents who are all devastated by this unpopular decision. Strangely ASUU failed to realize that those who are affected by their decision are poor parents whose wards populate the public universities.
“These are people who have over time sympathized with them but today they are worse hit by the decision; and the truth is that by this decision, ASUU has lost that sympathy it enjoyed among majority of Nigerians which is a huge minus for them.
“As a group, we had earnestly appealed to them to call off the action while they continue with the negotiations with the Federal Government but they would not have any of that. Unfortunately it is the poor masses who would be at the receiving end of this unpopular decision, it is sad and devastating.”
Nigerian Federal Government Initiates 40% Deduction From Universities’ Internally Generated Revenues, Prompting Concerns
The Nigerian federal government has embarked on the implementation of a controversial policy that imposes a 40 percent automatic deduction from the internally generated revenues (IGR) of federal universities and partially-funded institutions.
This decision, aligned with the Finance Circular dated December 20, 2021, aims to limit the annual budgetary expenditure derived from IGR.
In a letter issued by the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Madein, the policy of a 40 percent auto-deduction was communicated to universities and institutions.
The letter, approved by the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, was signed by the Director of Revenue & Investment in the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Felix Ore-ofe Ogundairo.
The new directive enforces that agencies and parastatals must remit up to 50 percent of their gross IGR, channeling the remaining 50 percent to the Sub-recurrent Account.
All statutory revenue lines, such as Tender Fees, Contractor’s Registration Fees, and Rent on Quarters, are to be remitted entirely to the Sub-recurrent Account.
While the federal government hinted at granting universities more autonomy to explore financing sources, this move has sparked controversy within the education sector.
Critics argue that the policy will stifle institutional activities, hinder critical projects, and potentially force institutions to increase fees, thereby impacting students and their families.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has also voiced concerns, highlighting the potential repercussions for universities.
University authorities, meanwhile, argue that the policy contradicts the government’s perception of universities as revenue-generating entities while providing inadequate funding and inhibiting their development.
The policy raises questions about the government’s approach to education financing and may lead to increased financial strain on students.
Femi Otedola Inaugurated as Chancellor of Augustine University, Donates N750 Million to Students
Renowned Nigerian billionaire businessman, Femi Otedola, was officially inaugurated as the Chancellor of Augustine University in Lagos on Thursday, representing a significant milestone in the institution’s history.
The inauguration ceremony was a moment of distinction and philanthropy with Otedola taking to his verified Instagram page to announce his new role and his remarkable gesture of benevolence.
In response to the prevailing challenging economic conditions, Otedola donated N750 million to the university.
He distributed N1 million to each of the 750 students at Augustine University, expressing his desire to alleviate the financial burdens of the students’ families.
In his Instagram statement, Otedola said, “I hope this donation of Seven Hundred and Fifty Million Naira assists the plight of the parents of our students in this difficult time.”
Augustine University, founded in 2015, selected Otedola as its Chancellor on April 7, 2022.
The university’s spokesperson, Nicholas Obayi, noted that Otedola’s appointment was richly deserved, given his unwavering commitment to philanthropic causes.
Otedola’s installation as Chancellor not only brings honor to Augustine University but also exemplifies his dedication to uplifting educational institutions and supporting the aspirations of Nigerian youth.
His generous donation is a testament to his belief in the transformative power of education and his commitment to improving the lives of students during challenging economic times.
NNPCL-Shell Scholarships Transform Lives of 35 Niger Delta Pupils
35 exceptionally pupils hailing from public primary schools across the Niger Delta region have been granted the prestigious NNPCL-Shell Cradle-to-Career scholarships, covering their entire six years of secondary school education.
These bright young minds, hailing from Rivers, Delta, and Bayelsa States, recently wrapped up an intensive week-long orientation program aimed at honing their academic, character, and psychological skills, all in preparation for their seamless transition into new learning environments.
The 14th batch of scholars since the program’s inception in 2010, they have been placed in three renowned private institutions in Port Harcourt, Rivers State: Brookstone Secondary School, Jephthah Comprehensive College, and Bloombreed High School.
Igo Weli, General Manager Corporate Relations at The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, praised these students as the “35 shining stars of the Niger Delta,” having been selected through a highly competitive process that included aptitude tests.
“The Cradle-to-Career program is designed to bridge educational disparities arising from geographic and socio-economic differences while enhancing literacy levels in the Niger Delta region and Nigeria as a whole,” remarked Weli.
He further highlighted its contribution to the realization of UNESCO’s ‘Education for All’ goal and the development of a robust human resource base for Nigeria’s progress.
Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Professor Kaniye Ebeku, expressed his appreciation for the program and Shell’s commitment to offering the best education to pupils from underprivileged backgrounds.
He encouraged the scholars to focus on their goals and make the most of this opportunity to bring pride to their families and sponsors.
The NNPCL-Shell Cradle-to-Career scholarship is not just an investment in these 35 students, but also in the future of the Niger Delta and Nigeria as a whole.
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