The Federal Government is ready to release the sum of N1.18bn for the “pivotal autonomy of the universities”, observed Sunday PUNCH.

The sum also covers the renegotiation of the 2010 agreements between the Polytechnic Academic Staff Union, the Universities Non-Academic Staff Union and other allied institutions, and the Nigerian Polytechnic Senior Staff Association”.

Although the government did not give a breakdown of how it planned to distribute the amount among unions and the amount set aside to pivot university autonomy, our correspondent noted that the amount was listed as a new project in the approved 2023 budget for tertiary education. institutions of the country.

Tertiary institutions in Nigeria have been beset by union activities, poor infrastructure, poor worker welfare and underfunding, among others.

Speaking to our correspondent in Abuja, ASUP National President Dr. Anderson Ezeibe criticized the amount projected for the renegotiation of the government-union agreement.

“But how did they arrive at such numbers? Is it for the renegotiation process or for the implementation of the result of the renegotiation? These guys (FG) will not stop surprising people. No one can determine that for now until the renegotiation process is complete.

“There is still no agreement unless the government has unilaterally decided the disputed points on its own. That is not in line with the collective bargaining procedures,” he said.

Similarly, the president of the Union of Academic Staff of Universities of the Federal Technological University of Minna, Professor Gbolahan Bolarin, said: “They (FG) do not understand what they are talking about. They need to come out and explain what the money is for.

“They want to pivot the autonomy of the universities. How ? They need to come out and explain what is going on so that Nigerians are aware of the whole process.”