Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday confirmed that N200 billion has been deposited into the universities infrastructure revitalization account.
This is contained in a letter to the Accountant General of the Federation, dated December 10 and signed by the CBN’s deputy governor (operations), Tunde Lemo.
The letter said, “I write to confirm the execution of the following mandates by the Central Bank of Nigeria for funding of the above mentioned account as follows:
1) Mandate FD/LP2013/40/30/DF-129,300,000,000.00. 2) Mandate FD/FA/124/Vol XII/120/DF-20,700,000,000.00; and 3) Mandate FD/LP2013/40/1/DF- 50,000,000,000.00.
“I wish to further confirm that the available balance in the aforementioned account is N200 billion only.”
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on strike since July 1.
Series of negotiations with the federal government officials, including a 13-hour meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan are yet to end the five-month old strike.
As part of the negotiation process, the union recently wrote a letter to Jonathan demanding an immediate release of N200 billion “revitalisation” funds for the universities, payment of salary arrears, inclusion of non-victimisation clause and a review of the 2009 agreement next year.
The confirmation of the N200 billion deposit is not likely to change the stance of ASUU, which has demanded the signing of an agreement regarding the pending issues.
Speaking to journalists yesterday in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the president on public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, said a meeting will hold today between National Universities Commission (NUC), federal ministry of education, vice chancellors, and NEEDS’ assessment committee, which includes ASUU members “whereby modalities on how to share the money to the universities would be discussed.”
Okupe added that “there is no any other legitimate reason for ASUU to continue the strike. When we said this money was paid last week and this administration has no credibility issue, we meant it.”
But Okupe said that with the payment of the N200 billion, “all other issues are no longer substantial.” He said as signatory to International Labour Organization (ILO) treaty, no teacher would be victimised, particularly “as more than 70 percent of lecturers across the country complied with the federal government’s ultimatum and returned to work.”
He also said that the 2009 agreement would be reviewed next year.
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