The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has denied knowledge of the N25bn purportedly approved by federal government for the payment of Earned Academic Allowance(EAA) for universities.
The National President of the union, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, said this Wednesday in Abuja while reacting to the statement credited to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu that the Nigerian Government has approved an additional N25 billion as earned academic allowances for the Union.
He said it became expedient for ASUU leadership to clarify issues relating to the said N25 billion supposedly approved as part payment for the outstanding arrears of the Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) within the context of of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoA) signed between the federal government of Nigeria and ASUU on 7th February, 2019, regrettably, the leadership of the union watched with dismay the failure of government to live up to its words.
According to him, “Following the signing of the MoA, the union expected, as agreed, that the N25 billion EAA part payment would be paid between 25th February, 2019 and 28th February, 2019. As we speak today, there is no evidence that mainstreaming of EAA into the annual budget, beginning from this year, has been done. Indeed what has been going on is the tossing around of the agreement document between the offices of the Hon Minister of Education and Finance.
“All our efforts to track the said N25 billion at the office of the Accountant General of the Federation have proved abortive. This is not only unacceptable to us but disheartening and frustrating to our members across the country. It is frustrating because we have visited the Ministry of education at least three times and written letters to the Ministry since we signed the MoA in February 2019, all to no avail. This is complete breach of trust on the part of government.”
He said the union expect nothing less than the Immediate release of the N25 billion to their members who are entitled to such claims and the mainstreaming of EAA into the annual budget as agreed in the MoA.
“Our union is therefore, alarmed by the statement credited to the Hon. Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu that the said N25 billion fund for EAA has been approved.
“Our information is that ONLY N20 billion has been approved and government has not acceded to our demand that the approved sum be released to the
deserving academic staff members. ASUU, therefore, restates its demand that the confirmed N20 billion be paid to those deserving the part-payment for EAA among our members without further delay,” he added.
The Union further said that its members should not be held responsible if there is any disruption in the university system, as the Federal Government had not shown commitment to carrying out the 2019 Memorandum of Action.