Femi Falana
Femi Falana

Buhari ‘Should Urgently’ Approve N200bn For ASUU To End Strike – Falana

Human rights activist and senior lawyer, Femi Falana, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to submit a supplementary budget for the appropriation of the sum of N200 billion required to revamp federal universities across the country.

According to Mr Falana, this will go a long way in ending the months-long strike of the Academic Staff Union of Universities that has paralysed public universities since February.

Mr Falana said President Buhari’s recent lament over the prolonged strike was unnecessary.

He also faulted the Federal Government’s claim that it does not have the funds to meet ASUU’s demands, noting that the government has allocated trillions to address issues such as fuel subsidy and agriculture policy.

ASUU embarked on a four-week warning strike on February 14.

On March 14, the union extended the industrial action by another two months to allow the government meet all of its demands. A 12-week extension was announced on May 9.

Since May 9, the union has remained on strike, vowing to persist until its demands are met.

The academics are seeking improved welfare, revitalisation of public universities and academic autonomy among other demands.

One bone of contention for the academics is the non-payment of university revitalisation funds, which amounts to about N1.1 trillion.

But the Federal Government has said it doesn’t have the money to pay such an amount, citing low oil prices during the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

The agreement was reportedly struck in 2009.

Another is the issue of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

The academics have proposed an alternative payroll system, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).