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FG Earmarks N1.18bn For Varsity Autonomy, Others 

The Federal Government is set to release the sum of N1.18bn for “pivoting autonomy of universities,” Sunday PUNCH has observed.

The sum also covers renegotiation of the 2010 agreements between the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and other allied institutions, and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics.”

Though the government did not give a breakdown of how it planned to distribute the amount among the unions and the amount set aside to pivot the autonomy of universities, our correspondent observed that the amount was listed as a new project in the approved 2023 budget for tertiary institutions in the country.

Tertiary institutions in Nigeria have been bedevilled by union activities, poor infrastructure, poor welfare of workers, and poor funding, among others.

Speaking with our correspondent in Abuja, the National President of ASUP, Dr Anderson Ezeibe, faulted the amount projected for the renegotiation of the agreement between the government and the union.

“But how did they come about such figures? Is it for the renegotiation process or the implementation of the outcome of the renegotiation? These guys (FG) will not cease to amaze people. Nobody can determine that for now until the renegotiation process is completed.

“There’s no agreement yet unless the government has unilaterally decided the items in dispute on their own. That is not in line with collective bargaining procedures,” he said

Similarly, the chairperson of the Academic Staff Union of Universities at the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof Gbolahan Bolarin, said, “They (FG) don’t understand what they are talking about. They need to come outside and explain what the money is for.

“They want to pivot autonomy for universities. How ? They need to come out and explain what is going on so Nigerians will be aware of the whole process”.

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