Posted by News Express | 10 December 2013 | 3,319 times
The Central Bank of Nigeria has confirmed that a sum of N200 billion agreed with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan on November 5 has been fully paid into a Revitalization of Universities Infrastructure Account.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, made the CBN letter available to newsmen today in Abuja.
In the letter signed by the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Tunde Lemo, and addressed to the Accountant General of the Federation, the apex bank confirmed that the full sum of N200 billion is the balance in the account as required.
The Letter titled CONFIRMATION OF THE EXCECUTION OF YOUR MANDATE FOR THE CREDIT OF ACCOUNT ON REVITALISATION OF UNIVERSITIES INFRASTRUCTURE ACCOUNT indicates that the sum was paid in three tranches of N129,300,000,000.00; N20,700,000,000.00 and N50,000,000,000.00 into the account as directed.
Commenting on the letter, Okupe assured that President Jonathan is fully committed to the implementation of agreements reached with ASUU. He said a Needs Assessment Implementation Committee which has representatives of ASUU on board would be inaugurated tomorrow in order to fast-track the utilisation of the released funds and tackle infrastructural deficiency in the university system.
According to the presidential aide, government has received a number of representations from eminent Nigerians and stakeholders on the need to temper justice with mercy regarding the ultimatum issued to the striking lecturers to resume work or face stiff sanctions.
His words: “Government appreciates the fact that a number of universities have either resumed academic activities or announced resumption dates in line with the directives earlier issued by the Committee of Pro Chancellors. We appreciate the fact that many chapters of ASUU have resumed work and many more will follow suit shortly. Government is only desirous of normalcy in the educational sector in view of the importance of this sector to the society. Now that evidence has been provided as to the availability of the sum of two hundred billion Naira for immediate disbursement to Universities, we expect that ASUU will call off this strike so that normalcy will fully return to our campuses. This is the only honorable path for our distinguished academics in the present instance.”
Okupe added that government does not intend to victimise anyone who participates in a legitimate strike action in view of the fact that Nigeria is a signatory to the International Labour Organisation convention which guarantees workers’ rights to strikes convened in line with due processes.
•Photo shows CBN Deputy Governor Tunde Lemo, who made the confirmation.
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