Nigeria’s Federal Government has committed to spending N200 billion in the 2014 budget on the universities as well as on each of the next three-four years until the universities are brought to world-class standard.
This will be in addition to the N100 billion dedicated and already made available for 2013.
This is the agreement that has been reached to bring to an end the public universities lecturers’ strike that has continued for over three months.
The FG has also increased to N40 billion as a first installment, funds for the payment of earned allowances to the striking lecturers, an improvement from the N30 billion previously released.
This information is contained in an internal Federal University of Otuoke statement by Professor Bolaji Aluko, its Vice-Chancellor.
On the earned allowances, the Professor explained, “Government will top it up with further releases once universities are through with the disbursement of this new figure of N40 million, so Vice-Chancellors are urged to expedite this disbursement within the shortest possible time using guiding templates that have been sent by the CVC,” the circular said.
The Vice-Chancellor said the development followed meetings on September 19 and Oct 11 of representatives of the Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, led by CVC Chairman, Prof. Hamisu of ATBU and ASUU Representatives led by its President, Dr. N. Fagge with the Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Arc. Namadi. Sambo, Minister of Education Barr. N. Wike and others.
Vice-President Sambo’s appeal to ASUU to call off the strike was of great interest to stakeholders. Sambo also apologized for the “take-it-or-leave-it” comments credited to the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala at the onset of the strike.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala did not seem to have been involved in either meeting, perhaps as the government’s way of soothing the feelings of the university teachers.