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Federal Government to ASUU: “We Can’t Meet Your N92 Billion Demand”

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Ngozi Okonjo-IwealaIt seems the strike still goes on.

Yesterday, Tuesday 13th August 2o13, the Federal Government declared that it presently doesn’t have the resources to meet the N 92 Billion financial demand by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

According to Punch Newspaper, at the opening of the two-day meeting of Commissioners of Finance and Accountants-General of States, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said the N 92 Billion being demanded by the university lecturers was not within the reach of the Federal Government.

At the event themed Restructuring Nigeria’s Finances, she said;

“At present, ASUU wants the Federal Government to pay N92 billion in extra allowances, when the resources are not there, and when we are working to integrate past increases in pensions. We need to make choices in this country as we are getting to the stage where recurrent expenditures take the bulk of our resources and people get paid but can do no work.

Since I assumed office, the share of recurrent expenditure in our total budgets had increased astronomically. In fact, recurrent expenditure accounted for about 77.2 per cent of the federal budget and we are now working to re-balance this ratio.

The country is still suffering from the effect of the 2010 increase in salary. Do we want to get to a stage in this country that all the money we earn is used to pay salaries and allowances?

If the demands of the university lecturers are met and we continue to pay them salaries and allowances, we will not be able to provide infrastructure in the universities.”

The negotiation between the FG and the striking members of ASUU ends in impasse. Both parties have rescheduled the meeting to Monday 19th August 2013.

Are you a student affected by the strike? What are your thoughts on the issue? Let us know

32 Comments

  1. NAIJA 4 LIFE

    August 14, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Well well well. Is it not this same woman who did not only school at Harvard, but made sure that all her children are Harvard graduates? How will she know what they are talking about? 95 billion sounds a lot, but that is all the Universities merged together. Nigeria has a lot more than that to spend, considering that 95 billion Naira is chicken change to some of these fools that embezzle tax payer’s money. It is really unfortunate and sad because i know a friend who is an assistant lecturer in UNN , who is being paid 60,000 naira as his basic salary. I feel sorry for those younger people who are either in a Nigerian Uni or will be getting into a Nigerian UNI. Thank God i finally graduated from UNN and got a masters from UNI Aberdeen , that was after being frustrated out of UNN , after i tried to get a master’s degree from there. It so sick the kind of stories that come out from Nigeria, and it only gets worse by the day. God help us all!

  2. pearl

    August 14, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    Hmmmm!!!..May God help nigeria sha!!!…The government can’t meet the 92m demands???.yet their officials can increase wardrobe, food and travel allowance every year.., Buy houses all over!!…even celebrate birthday in a huge way for those in jail!!!. and most of their kids are in very expensive schools in us nd uk..

  3. Vanessa

    August 14, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Nigeria can cut some excesses and afford that money but my problem is the institutions that will receive this money. They will divert it to the personal pockets of the key officials involved.

  4. Hurperyermie

    August 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    lets start from primary school teachers who build foundation have they done anything for them? cos am very sure of some states that are owing the teachers 5 months salary talkmore of implementing minimum wage, then you expect the government to cough our 92 billion when its not that they want to buy houses outside the country, or buy diamonds for their wives, or celebrate birthdays for themselves and their families, the list goes on and on our politicians are their for themselves and families alone cos i can’t understand how a person will kill another person or breed thugs because he wants to become a servant who is he serving? himself or the citizens all we need in this country is REVOLUTION!!!!!!!!! and i don’t blame them afterall their children are away studying and when they come back again they get instant jobs, thousands of graduates are out there with good results and no job infact God is watching AND LIFE IS A SEED WHATEVER A MAN SOWS THAT WILL HE REAP GOD CANNOT BE MOCKED i rest my case

    • impervious

      August 14, 2013 at 2:02 pm

      God bless you for stating the obvious. The impasse is serious… but quite frankly I fear for our primary schools and secondary schools. When the basic populace can barely read or write. And I am not talking about text speak…. how will there be any respect for the thankless work lecturers do. (and yes I am very aware some lecturers are just in it for themselves… but there are those that take the work the do seriously)

  5. Blink

    August 14, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Nigerians look at us,dnt our minister think,hav we ever hear of universities in uk,us,ukarine,canada,even ghana going on strike.can we think and learn.our leaders keep up stealing our money al in d name of allowances bt 2 do sometin in our educational system is a big problem.hmmmm.government do nt 4get,4 every pain u cause people,u wuld give account.

  6. Mobbdeep

    August 14, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Welllllll the money sounds a lot but hey can we blame the union of teachers? No… The media tells us that so n so person embezzled N900 billion… That’s one person ! So if we calculate the babalakin, Ibru, saraki, ibori, Akingbola, oil subsidy thieves, musical concert thieves amongst other……am sure she knows….Nigeria is capable….

  7. Ngozi

    August 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    92 Billion Naira, that’s approximately £36,965,6000.00, n. As far as I am concerned, that is not too much to invest in Education. The state of Nigerian Public Universities from what I’ve gathered is ridiculous, yet these politicians have their children schooled in the finest institutions outside the country. While I think there is a fundamental problem with the way the Nigerian government treats our academic institutions, i also believe that the Universities have a part to play. Here in the UK, particularly the Universities where I received my qualifications, there was active participation by local businesses as well as multinational companies with the Universities. In fact I think its fair to say that a substantial amount of money came from such companies funding research in these universities. Perhaps in Nigeria, we must encourage our multinational as well as local businesses to begin to play an active role in the education of the youth.
    For instance, while studying LLM Maritime Law with the University of Southampton, I was privileged to benefit from a faculty actively involved with Magic Circle firms like Clyde & Co as well as the Coastguard Agencies, Local Law firms etc. Additionally, the Engineering department is linked to Microsoft as well as other technology big players. Our Universities need to start liaising with businesses to attract funding, and our government need to fund infrastructural developments in our Universities to enable them attract funding. There is hope for Nigeria, we just need the right people leading us!

  8. Okechukwu Ofili

    August 14, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Universities in Nigeria need to be able to raise funds on their own and not depend 100% on Federal Government. Now I am not absolving government from this issue, for they play a large part. But Public Universities have to know how to raise some amount of funds on their own. For example through alumni donations, selling of school paraphrenelia, Corporate Investors…etc…

    UNILAG and UI for example have too large and too influential of an Alumni base to be starving for funds. Too large!

    Every week I get an email or letter from my school (University Of Houston), begging me for…I mean asking me for money. Every week, I kid you not. And it is a public university funded by government money. But yet, when they need more more…they send more letters to alumni, they don’t strike. Our Universities need to do the same.

    And our minister of Finance should communicate diplomatically and not just say “government cannot meet you demands” and call it a day. Won’t work. Nah deadlock be that!

    • omoibo

      August 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      I have always wondered why some of these Nigerian universities with wealthy alumni base do not have any sort of endowment funds setup to assist…

    • noni moss

      August 14, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      Yes, that’s a very good point mentioned. Why can’t universities make use of their wealthy alumni, instead of going on strike every 10 seconds, especially if the government refuses to budge? Well known establishments like Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard etc have their alumni build libraries, wings, laboratories etc; so why can’t Nigerian ones too learn/implement fundraising methods? Do they even approach their alumni to ask? Food for thought indeed.
      As for the govt, i have no words really, at least not today. Tomorrow is another day….

    • slice

      August 14, 2013 at 6:21 pm

      for real!!!!! and if they even invest a little bit of money or co partner with some real estate organizations, they can sell real correct housing to students. There are some rich rich students in those schools that would pay anything for a clean room and a clean bathroom. colleges abroad also raise some money by providing extremely decent housing and charging for it. even if my not so rich self would have paid.

      and are the schools really charging the students anywhere close to what it takes to run the school. I know this topic is usually avoided but we may need to revisit it. we can give grants to those who need financial aid but how sustainable is it to charge everyone below market value for the education. sometimes you really get what you pay for

  9. sh

    August 14, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Madam Minister!! how much do you earn? how much does that senator that has never said anything earn. These men and women work tirelessly yet they get the least. Look at the way she is painting the picture. is this 92 billion not for the whole country? how much will every lecturer get as an extra allowance if their demands are met? don’t be surprised it might not be up to a hundred thousand naira increase yet senators and ministers collect fat salaries and allowances for sitting in an air conditioned office all day long, stealing money to send their children to school abroad because they know the have stolen the money meant for education in Nigeria.

    It’s just pathetic.

  10. minimisingmarriageshock

    August 14, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    I have always said it. Ban top government officials, governors, ministers, senators, the president etc from sending their children abroad for education. Maybe they will sit up and do something about our educational institution.

    But then who will make this into a law and who will implement it? Sigh!

  11. omoibo

    August 14, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Here’s my advice to madam minister, you and I know that a country that spends 77.2% of its annual recurring budget on running the govt is headed for fiscal disaster & this is unsustainable!! Haba madam minister, you of all people ought to know this!
    We all know that majority of Nigerian budget is made up of fluff and those funds are just being wasted or siphoned.
    I suggest you cut back 10% on the average from those non performing ministries which will probably end up being 100% of them and re-allocate those funds to sectors like education!!!! Geez madam, for crying out loud you are an economist and should know that a country that’s not producing an educated work force will suffer long term….

  12. jcsgrl

    August 14, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    I have said it that Nigerian universities need to find ways of becoming sustained apart from government money. The endowment fund is a very good idea. I saw the ad for UI calling all its Alumni to register. I forwarded to my papa who gives regularly to Oxford buy not UI. I guess we just have a lack of trust with how the money will be managed. Will it go the pockets of VC et co or will it be used for school projects. A friend of mine recently renovated well maybe gave a face lift to the chemistry lab in his village secondary school. It cost him about N1.5 million. Bought test tubes, text books, lab equipment, and chemicals. Simple gestures like that which one person can do.
    Universities can have SBUs which can bid for state or fed govt contracts. They can also offer services to banks, private institutions, etc. But that’s too much thinking and work for the lazy VCs. They just want to receive allocation monthly, then sit and do nothing

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      August 14, 2013 at 4:54 pm

      My sista, that wey you talk na true. E get one European Uni wey dey bid for work with the organization I’m with and na only dem fit do this kain specialized sumtin and so na dem win d work.

      The folks I had to parlay with there are just core academics who can’t grasp a lot of commercial realities but dem sha dey do the work for us. And getting some good money in the bank. Nigerian Universities who boast of strengths in particular disciplines need to either start selling their technical services to clients or set up partnership with external consultants. Dust off a Professor or two and package them off to meetings with clients, you’ll be amazed at what people will pay for competent advice.

    • jcsgrl

      August 14, 2013 at 6:41 pm

      Ehen u see am…even where I work, we have several projects that are done by Universities (John Hopkins and University of Maryland). They provide us technical staff and expertise on some solutions. Dat na money! But mba dis people no wan think. They can offer services like accounting and payroll, book keeping, report and proposal writing…bet then again you know nja university ppl no dey get real world experience shaa…covering my head in shame. Over here professors have real world professional experience. Anyway like you said they can be trained and polished

  13. Jacinta

    August 14, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    truth be told, i think this strike is a complete ruse… i know the strike is well intended but really, i don’t buy the purpose of this strike…
    i am a finalist at the university of Nigeria, Nsukka and i believe I am entitled to my own opinion. Like someone said, why can’t out alumini help? Nigeria doesn’t have this money as a country. that scenerio is different from how much each senator has in his acccount. Couldn’t we have chosen a more diplomatic time to strike? say, at the end of the year towards the making of a new budget? why now?
    another thing is that there is hierarchy in this country. Our senators like it or not are nominated by us, yes by us… am sorry you don’t know about this… these lecturers are paid well… the higher you go, the better your pay… plus pensions…we should try to be reasonable… Nigeria has to builld… Okonji is trying… we cannot fix the problem of nigeria overnight.
    worse still, even if ASUU is given that money, how many structures will they erect? how many schools will really benefit? how many pockets will be enriched… Let us be thoughtful… don’t just capitalize on the story we are being fed with… think.
    i feel we should call off the strike… the sooner, the better… our country is rich… our fore runners are richer still but our government is poor… we have to understand that.
    except these politicians come together and donate for this cause, am afraid we shall be striking for a long time… am sha happy that UNN has finished for this session… so if yu r from say unilag championing this cause, just think about yur life… cos come January my school will be convocating and by February, NYSC… lol. grow some brains ppl, don’t be deceived!
    ok, bye

  14. Nonye

    August 14, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Ngozi shouldn’t say this in public in a country where some billions was approved for the office of the first lady that is not even constitutional not to mention other numerous ways the govt officials embezzle funds b4 our very eyes.

  15. natty

    August 14, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    92 billion for salary increase!! oh well. My first thought was that the strike was money to upgrade their facilities etc. I know the pay is poor but the standard of education has to improve in our unis first. Imagine a computer scientist from a Nigerian Uni claiming to have never used a computer in her 4 years in school

  16. jot

    August 14, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Ma fellow Nigeria students. We ar all blaming d govt. What abt ASUU officials demselves, since 2009 wen dis agreement was signed n nt implemented n der have being going on strike, why have der being calling off d strike wen der demand has nt being met? D fact is plus ASUU plus govt der ar all greedy set of fellows.
    Why didn’t ASUU come up wit d strike plan early dis year wen d budget is newly declared. Atleast by den d govt wil hv no excuse or wot soever 2 tell us der is no moni in d pulse.
    Jx 2 wiks ago I was reading a news wer all d state ar owning Millions of Dollar of which even d federal govt is nt exsemted. So wot ar we saying.
    I jx wish am nt a Nigeria n I wish i can sch outside dis country…. Its painful….

  17. fuck FG

    August 14, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    75% of Nigeria budget is spent on legislative arm of Gov in Nigeria , so i dont blame the woman because its gonna affect her share..

    • slice

      August 14, 2013 at 6:30 pm

      lol at it’s going to affect her share.

    • jcsgrl

      August 14, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      ha ha ha ha ha…your head no correct.

  18. jcsgrl

    August 14, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    My ppl truth is country is broke like a mug! We in some deep s**t. Aunty Ngo is right, we no get money. Revenue projections deeped. these idiots in govt called our leaders are reactionary and not proactive. America don dey warn una that they want to reduce dependence on oil since Obama enter office. US is drilling and storing up oil like crazy. O ga eme unu voom na anya like film show! Find other sources of income.
    To the students, use daylight to start looking for a black goat because when night comes you wout be able to find it. Don’t go and enter uni pick whatever track with the hopes of finding job. You better reinvent yourself. Find something to be doing so that you don’t end up in unemployment line, Make yourself relevant o and add value to your life.
    Speaking of value make I get of BN and go do some work that I’m getting paid nicely to do he he he he

  19. timi

    August 14, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    i have completely lost all respect for Madam Iweala.

  20. godstime

    August 14, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    just passin by.

  21. ahmed

    August 15, 2013 at 12:11 am

    i don’t even know how to classify you finance minister Ngozi. if i call you full am not satisfied if i say illiterate am not ok but never the less all i know is that you have no sympathy in you, you only luck your ways and other citizens of the country are never your concern. please how do you feel when saying out to the public on media that the Gov’t have no resources for the lecturers, what about the patronage from subsidy removal, what can you and your boss account for in that aspect, please we respect you for the fact that you are part of our leaders, please never say this non sense and rubbish again, we are not fools to the extent that somebody will be telling us stupid stories about this country, therefor respect your self and issue that N92 billion in fact with extra 8b making it 100b for miscellaneous expenses.

  22. nduka

    August 15, 2013 at 12:19 am

    asuu is jst lyk a kettle calin pot black. Most nigerian unions ar only intrested in their own gains n dnt care abt d end consumers. Wat has asuu done to tackle non performing lecturers? My lecturer taught us autocad only in one lecture on a board. Wat cn asuu do abt dat and a lot of oda nonsense lyk failing people unecessarily, etc. d system s messd up lets watch dem

  23. Daniel

    August 15, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    pls free us oooooooo. Release the bill

  24. CHAMBERLAIN.

    September 24, 2013 at 9:38 am

    what is 92billion naria is that too much for all the Universities in Nigeria ok. Please let government go on and pay this money as soon as possible. Madam Okonji try to make effect so that government will fine a way to pay this money please. If EFCC will start to chack you people now will fine out that 92billion naria is too small to pay to ASSU. God blessed ASSU and Nigeria…………. Happy birthday.

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