FG approves N25bn academic allowances for ASUU members

The Federal Government on Tuesday said it has approved an additional N25 billion payment for Earned Academic Allowances for members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

Disclosing this at his valedictory press conference as a minister in Abuja, Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu said the money is a part payment contained in the Memorandum of Action the Union signed with the government.

He noted that the N25 billion was aside the N20 billion that was released to public universities in the country last year.

The minister also confirmed that all universities in the country have benefitted from the N20 billion released by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.

In his words:

 “Let me inform you that the federal government has just approved an additional N25 billion to be shared to beneficiary institutions directly. Last year, the federal government released N20 billion directly to universities. As I speak, all universities have got their share of the N20 billion.”

“The sad news is that the N200 billion that was released to the Central Bank of Nigeria since 2013 for the universities has not been fully accessed. In specific terms, all the 73 public varsities have accessed the 1st tranche of 50 percent of the N200 billion.

“For the second tranche of 40 percent, only 56 institutions have been able to access their funds. The last 10 percent representing the third tranche of the N200 billion has not been accessed at all.

Also speaking of other progress made, Adamu said:

“In spite of the economic downturn, we have done well in terms of investment in capital expenditure. The UBEC interventions in states have recorded a total of N350 billion, while TETFund and NEED Assessment interventions have recorded N857 billion with the main ministry and other agencies recording N86 billion, totalling N1.338 trillion in the last four years.

“This is aside from the N25 billion just approved for public universities. These figures have nothing to do with personnel and overhead cost in the education sector, which are also well over a trillion naira.

“Private sector investment in the education sector from the basic, secondary and tertiary levels far outweigh government investment. Our aggregate expenditure in the education sector (public and private) therefore exceeds the much touted 20 percent of our national budget. We are poised to do more.

 

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