The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday denied rumour making the rounds that it has received the sum of N163 billion from the federal government in the bid to suspend the three-month old strike.
ASUU in a release entitled “Re: N163 billion Released To ASUU: Putting the Record Straight”, signed by the Ibadan Zonal coordinator of the Union, Dr Ade Adejumo urged government to desist from dissipating energy on fake news and cheap propaganda aimed at tarnishing the image of the Union and concentrate efforts at finding a quick resolution of the impasse.
The statement states: “ASUU is a patriotic union of intellectuals which only fight for better education.” The union described the federal government as mischievous in misinforming the public when it knows that it is the university administration and governing council that receive funds.
According to ASUU, contracts and all capital projects are awarded by the councils that are appointed by the federal government and not ASUU.
ASUU cautioned vice chancellors and councils to stop behaving like vultures by coming out and openly to put the record straight each time government comes out with deliberate falsehood that money had been released to ASUU.
The statement states: “Once again, the attention of our union has been drawn to another piece of misinformation which gives the impression that ASUU collects money from government. For umpteenth time, let it be known that our union is a patriotic organisation whose activities are driven by principled conviction that the resources of the country can better be managed for the ultimate benefit of the Nigerian society, especially the education sector which is our immediate constituency.
“The government and all civilized individuals are aware of how the university is managed, so also the resources available to it.
“The government knows that it is the council and the university administration that receives and spends all the money coming into the university.
“ASUU doesn’t receive money from government and doesn’t spend it. Even money meant for our salaries and other allowances come directly to the university administration which prepares the budget and manages it. ASUU members collect only their salaries as paid by the university.
“Contracts and all the capital projects are awarded by the councils that are appointed by the government, not ASUU. It is in the context of the above that our union calls on the vice-chancellors and council chairmen to stop behaving like vultures that wait silently by the sidelines, waiting for the game to fall only to descend on the carcass.
“They should join forces with ASUU in
its struggles to attract requisite funding into our public universities rather
than working at cross purposes with us. Part of the least expected from them is
to come out openly to put the record straight each time the government come out
with the deliberate falsehood that money has been released to ASUU.
“They, that is, council and the vice-chancellors
are the receiving and spending agents. Simple honour demands that they publicly
own up to this fact. Their silence in this regard leaves room for unfair
speculation about ASUU.”