EducationFact Check

Buhari did not approve ₦456 billion for ASUU to end strike as reported

Claim: President Muhammadu Buhari has approved ₦456 billion for ASUU to end the ongoing strike.

Although President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved the disbursement of 2022 Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) intervention funds, the released funds have nothing to do with the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).  As such, the claim that the president has approved ₦456 billion for ASUU to end the strike is misleading.

Full Text

Recently, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) elongated it’s three-month old strike by another three months. The union had on February 14, 2022, embarked on a four-week warning strike which was later extended by two months.

Among others, ASUU’s major demands from the government include: the renegotiation of its 2009 agreement with the federal government and the deployment of University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) for payment of its members’ salaries.

However, just before the 12-week extension was announced, claims that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved ₦456 billion to ASUU began to circulate on major social media platforms.

The claim reads:

“Finally after 66 days long wait, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N456bn for ASUU with each institution to receive N4.6bn to finalise the 2009 agreement.

More soon…”

With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram users and Bloggers sharing this claim on the afternoon of May 8th, 2022, the information had reached many Nigerians in a few hours. And while a few users doubted its efficacy, many believed the claim and debated if it was the right move on the President’s part.

For example, goldmynetv shared the announcement on Instagram, and within 24 hours, the account already gathered 7,462 likes and 745 comments.

The claim as shared on Instagram

Not only that, it was also shared by a Facebook account, supposedly belonging to a popular Nollywood actress, Iyabo Ojo. Within 20 hours, it already had 3.8k likes, 207 shares and 370 comments.

The claim was also shared by a Facebook account, supposedly for Iyabo Ojo

Reacting to Iyabo Ojo’s post, Alimi Abdullateef encouraged ASUU to maximize the funds.

He wrote, “Are they ready to work before? Pls ASSU should not loot the money, They should use it to improve the system as promised,”

Unlike Abdullateef, Momoh Celina doubted that the union would receive the funds. 

She said: “Seeing it in practicals is believing. For now,  it’s approved, until it’s released, then we believe.”

However, Onyemaobi Joshua Ebu’s comment countered others’. He alleged that the money is not for ASUU.

“Money for TETFUND. Both for University, Poly and college of Edu,” he simply wrote.

Verification

DUBAWA first conducted a keyword search on Google regarding the claim and apparently found that no prominent newspaper has reported on the alleged announcement except Daily Times.

The report, published by Daily Times newspaper

Notably, it appeared as if the information was copied from Daily Times’ website as it is being circulated in the same format that it appears in the paper.  

Conversely,  other newspapers like THE NATION reported that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the disbursement of the 2022 Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) intervention funds and not funds for ASUU.

Sunday Echono, the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), disclosed on the 5th of May during  a meeting of the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) at Abuja that ₦642,848,138 has been allocated to each university; ₦396,780,086 to polytechnics and ₦447,758,804 to each college of education for 2022.

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund  (TETFund) was originally established and referred to as Education Trust Fund (ETF) by Act No 7 of 1993. It was then amended and replaced with the name –Tertiary Education Trust Fund in 2011.

It is equipped to provide physical teaching and learning infrastructure; materials and equipment; research and publications; and academic staff training for all Nigeria public higher institutions.

2022 TETFund not for ASUU

TETFund is funded through the two percent education tax usually paid by companies that are registered in Nigeria. Every year, “the funds are disbursed for the general improvement of education in federal and state tertiary educations.”

Furthermore, TETFund allocation papers are directly presented to heads of the beneficiary institutions and not for any association including ASUU.

Furthermore, although infrastructure development is among the demands that ASUU has asked the federal government of Nigeria to meet, the federal government did not announce that this recent disbursement has something to do with the 2009 ASUU-FG agreement.

Aside from that, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has made an apology to the union for not responding to their demands. The federal government has also promised to invite ASUU to a meeting. However, Emmanuel Osodeke, the national president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), said the union is yet to receive an invitation from the federal government. 

Conclusion

Although President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved the disbursement of 2022 Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) intervention funds, it was not to the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). Funds from the agency are received directly by the three levels of tertiary institutions and not by a union.

Show More

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button