SERAP writes Buhari on how to meet ASUU demands, end strike

President Buhari and ASUU President Osodeke

President Buhari and ASUU President Osodeke

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has suggested several measures to President Muhammadu Buhari to meet the demands of the striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

In an open letter, the group asked Buhari to urgently recover the missing N105.7bn of public funds from ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

It said the recovered money will help fund the country’s public tertiary institutions, improve the welfare of staff members, and ensure that the striking ASUU return to class without further delay.

“Pending the recovery of the missing public funds, we urge you to redirect some of the presidency’s budget of N3.6 billion on feeding and travels, and the N134 billion allocated to the National Assembly in the 2022 budget to meet the demands by ASUU.”

SERAP also urged him to “send to the National Assembly a fresh supplementary appropriation bill, which reflects the proposed redirected budget, for its approval.

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In the letter dated 2 July, 2022 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “Meeting the demands by ASUU would confront the persistent and widening inequality in educational opportunity, and promote equal protection for poor Nigerian children.”

“The apparent failure by your government to agree with the reasonable demands by ASUU, implement the good faith agreement with the union and to satisfactorily resolve the issues has kept poor Nigerian children at home while the children of the country’s politicians attend private schools.”

The ASUU accused the government of poor commitment to the payment of academic earned allowance (EAA); poor funding, the continued use of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System and refusal to adopt the Universities Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), among others.

ASUU started its latest strike on 14 February 2022.

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