The Ibadan Zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to save Nigerian universities by paying outstanding N550 billion NEEDS assessment intervention fund.
The fund was last paid in 2013 during the Goodluck Jonathan administration while 2014 (N220 billion), 2015 (N220 billion) and 2016 (N110 billion) outstanding have not been paid.
The union said that government attitude to funding education is killing the industry and making it difficult for it to be globally competitive and causing massive brain drain.
ASUU wondered why out of the capital budget allocated to education in the 2016 budget 38percent went to Federal Government secondary schools while only 5percent, 3percent and 8percent was allocated to Federal Polytechnics, Colleges of Education and Universities respectively.
ASUU further tasked the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu to attend to issues of Earned Academic allowances, renegotiation of 2009 ASUU/FGN agreements, Staff Salaries, Academic Pension, TSA and University Autonomy and budgetary allocation to Education raised at their previous meetings before the university system is plunged into industrial crisis.
In a release jointly signed in ibadan by the Zonal coordinator, Ibadan Zone of ASUU Dr Ade Adejumo and Chairman UI, Chapter, Dr Deji Omole respectively, ASUU said Federal government must inject funds in education for Nigerian universities to be globally competitive.
They asserted government cannot expect any miracle from its grossly under-funded universities to compete with adequately funded universities and highly motivated academics around the globe.
According to ASUU, it was said that the present Government rather reduced budgetary allocation to education to worsen the sector from 11percent in 2013, 12percent in 2014, 11percent in 2015 to 8percent in the 2016 budget.
The duo further lashed out at government officials for always shedding crocodile tears at university convocation where they decry low ranking of Nigerian universities while they take their children to study abroad.
The Ibadan zone of ASUU also carpeted the present administration for fractional, irregular, non-payment of salaries and other personnel emoluments adding that the union will resist any further attempt to erode university autonomy.
While noting that no country can develop beyond her educational institutions, ASUU cautioned the federal government against taking the union for granted.
It warned that while it is fully aware of the present socio-economic situations government must continue to attend to critical sectors of the economy and find home grown economic models to rescue it from the present doldrums.