FG to conduct forensic audit of N30bn released to ASUU in 2010

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From left: Former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Nasir Isa; President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi; and the Vice President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, at a news conference on the state of the nation in Abuja on Monday (14/8/17). 04255/14/8/2017/Albert otu/JAU/NAN

Federal Government on Tuesday unveiled plans to conduct forensic audit of the N30 billion released to Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in 2010.

The resolution was unanimously agreed to by Federal Government’s team and ASUU during the negotiation meeting chaired by Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment in Abuja.

According to the statement issued at the end of the meeting which was signed by Samuel Olowookere, Deputy Director (Press), the parties took significant steps towards the resolution of the issues raised by ASUU.

“Particularly, the meeting agreed on the forensic audit of the sum of N30 billion earlier given to ASUU in 2010 and further agreed on monthly remittances to ASUU while the audit lasts.

“The Minister hence wishes to assure members of ASUU, indeed all Nigerians that government is already at work to resolve all outstanding issues in line with the resolve of the present administration to cast any form of disruption of universities’ academic calendar into the dust bin of history,” the Minister said.

The parties also resolved to reconvene on Thursday, 17th August, 2017 to further the tripartite negotiation.

In a related development, workers under the aegis of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) issued a fresh notice to shut down academic activities across Nigerian Polytechnics in the bid to protest against breach of agreement entered into by Federal Government.

The Union which expressed “unconditional solidarity” with their University counterpart, ASUU, urged President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to commence the implementation of agreements reached with ASUP without further delay, in order to forestall an impeding crisis in the polytechnic sub-sector.

Anderson Ezeibe, ASUP General Secretary in the statement lamented that ‘it has become a norm for government to renege on agreements entered into with trade unions, particularly in the education sector leaving affected unions frustrated and with no choice than to down tools.”

Ezeibe who expressed the Union’s concern over the consequences of the strike on students, parents and society at large, however argued “government should be held responsible for this avoidable industrial crisis.”

In the bid to avert the industrial action, the Union tasked government to expeditiously “address the issue of shortfall in personnel releases in Federal Institutions since December 2015, non-payment of salaries in state Polytechnics, non-implementation of NEEDS Assessment report as well as non-payment of allowances.

“ASUP notes with nostalgia the renewal of hostilities in the country’s university campuses between ASUU and Government of Nigeria.

“While we are in unconditional solidarity with ASUU in this struggle to restore sanity to Nigerian universities, we are calling on the Government to commence without further delay the implementation of agreements entered into with ASUP to forestall an inpending crisis in the polytechnic sub-sector as the issues in contention which include shortfall in personel releases in Federal Instiuions since December 2015, non-payment of salaries in state Polytechnics, non-implementation of Needs Assessment report as well as non-payment of allowances,” the ASUP Scribe said.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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