Nigeria News :ASUU strike: N560b more needed to pay varsity teachers – Thenewsgist
Posted On July 23, 2022
By Yusuf Alli,
An extra N560 billion may be needed by the Federal Government to meet university teachers’ demand for increased annual pay, a top government source told The Nation in Abuja yesterday.
The source, who is privy to the renewed negotiations between the government and university-based unions, however, said it might be “fiscally tight” for the plum sum to be made available, in view of declining revenue.
The government, according to the source, spends “N372 billion annually on university education alone, including lecturers’ salaries.”
Based on talks with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), a professor could earn, at least, N2 million monthly.
The Nation exclusively reported on Wednesday that the government offered about N1 million monthly salary for a professor, which is a 100 per cent rise.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday moved to break the ice by personally meeting with the leadership of ASUU, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian University (SSANU), the National Association of Applied Academic Technologists, NAAT and the National Association of Non-Academics of Educational Institutions Staff Union (NASU)
At the end of the meeting, which was attended by representatives of relevant government ministries and agencies, Buhari directed Education Minister Adamu Adamu to end the strike within two weeks.
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The government had at the parley cited dwindling oil revenue as a major hindrance to its inability to meet demands by ASUU, SSANU, NAAT and NASU.
Investigation by The Nation revealed yesterday that based on Buhari’s directive of Buhari, Finance and National Planning Minister Zainab Ahmed, Adamu, the Budget Office and National Wages and Salaries Commission and other agencies have been working on the modalities to meet the unions’ demands without much shock on the economy.
A source said while the government acceded to agitations for a pay rise and release of revitalisation funds to universities, it was also weighing other options.
One of the options, according to him, is to lay the cards on the table for the unions to appreciate and bear with the government.
The source said: “Presently, the government is spending N372 billion annually on university education alone, including lecturers’ salaries. The government also spends billions on polytechnics and colleges of education.