Chairman of the Implementation Committee on the Needs Assessment of Universities and Governor of Benue State, Mr. Gabriel Suswan, has appealed to members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to shift grounds on their demand for 100 per cent implementation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement.
Suswan also disclosed that the disbursement of the N100 billion infrastructure intervention fund to the 51 benefiting universities was already concluded, adding that all the councils had commenced procurement processes ahead of the awards of contracts for rehabilitation and construction of infrastructure.
Speaking through his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Dr. Cletus Akwaya, Suswam reiterated that the committee had no hand in the procurement process.
“This committee appeals to the lecturers, now that government has started work on the infrastructure in the universities, they should shift ground and return to work while the processes continue,” he said.
The Benue governor lamented that ASUU was insisting on 100 per cent implementation of the 2009 agreement, which he noted could not be done by authoritative determination, as there were processes to be followed.
He however gave the assurance that more funds would be raised and allocated for the interventions next year to ensure that the rehabilitation of the institutions is a continuous process, noting that that would help address the infrastructure deficit in a couple of years.
The ASUU strike has now entered its third month after negotiations between the university lecturers and the Federal government deadlocked.
The FG believes the university lecturers should be back working as a good percentage of their demand has been met, but ASUU insists the FG should fulfill all its promises as stated in the 2009 agreement before the strike can end.