N1.1tn revitalisation fund no longer viable – Ikechukwu Igwenyi

Student group kicks against FG’s resumption order

The Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Ebonyi State University Chapter, Dr. Ikechukwu Igwenyi, has explained that the N1.1tn revitalisation fund is no longer viable.

Dr. Ikechukwu Igwenyi requested the union’s national leadership to reconsider the agreement it signed with the Federal Government in 2009 and to start over.

He emphasized that the N1.1 trillion remaining revitalization budget for the country’s universities was unsustainable, claiming that the 2009 agreement between the union and the government and the present economic climate were at odds.

He bemoaned that the government was only giving lip service to the objectives of the union while pointing out that it was important for leaders to consider the merits of ASUU’s position on tertiary education.

 “ASUU, therefore, is not realistic, because rather than calling for a review of the renegotiated agreement in the context of the current economic realities of dollar to naira ratio, they are asking for the release of funds negotiated in 2009, when a dollar was less than ₦150 as compared to present day reality rating of dollar to naira ratio of about ₦700.

“This implies that ASUU should be asking for about ₦5trn for the revitalisation of public universities in this current and prevailing economic dispensation. The about ₦1.1trn outstanding revitalisation fund cannot achieve the same objectives as prices of items like cement, rods, wood for furniture, reagents, and chemicals, equipment and stationeries, books and subscriptions, utility vehicles, fuel for generators and other consumables are no longer in tandem with the economic equivalents of same items 13 years ago.

“There is a need to review all the agreements upwards in terms of proportional inflation, currency devaluation, and today’s equivalent of the 13 years old negotiation as part of the renegotiation rather than demanding for the release of funds that cannot meet up with its purpose now because ASUU would be blamed in future for the failure of the system to achieve the purpose of these struggles.”

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