The Federal Government, on Monday, explained why it had not paid the University Revitalisation Fund and met other demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
The FG made the statement in response to Tuesday ultimatum given by the Union on Monday over failure of funding of the universities and ineffectiveness and discrepancies around the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, among others.
While addressing the journalist, the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, said the government was working hard to ensure the release of the revitalisation fund by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The minister said, “Why won’t the Federal Government take their calls? You called me with an unknown number and I picked your call, so why won’t we pick calls from ASUU? Who did they reach out to? Talks on the funds for the revitalisation of universities and ASUU are in progress.
“We are pursuing the CBN to be clear on the timing. Let ASUU reach out to us.”
But ASUU, in its reaction, dismissed the minister’s explanation, saying the government was being dishonest in its justification of the delay in paying the revitalisation fund.
He said the government was not interested in the plight of the poor, who attend public universities.
“I don’t think they are honest with what they are saying. If they are interested in the children of the poor, who cannot afford private universities, they would have written to us that they are sorry. This is the normal thing they should have done in a system,” he said.