The presidency on Wednesday laboured to prove it has actually paid the
sum of N200bn into an account with the Central Bank of Nigeria
designated for funding the nation's comatose universities.
The Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public
Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said at a press briefing in Abuja that the
account, a "revitalization of Universities Infrastructural Account,"
was authorized by the office of the Accountant General of the
Federation on November 13.
Arguing that there were enough reasons for the nation's striking
university lecturers to return to the classroom, Okupe said, "I state
categorically that I have personally seen the balance in the account
as of today and confirm that it contains the requisite amount and
disbursement will commence as soon as on going administrative
processes are sorted out."
He said he wanted to re-affirm that the President and the
administration have no credibility issues whatsoever.
"Mr. President has always honored his words and obligations to the
Nigerian people as and at when due," he said.
Okupe dismissed the four items mentioned by ASUU as preconditions for
calling off the strike, stating that none of them "remain
substantially pending or weighty enough to justify" the continuation
of the strike even one day longer.
"Having come this far, we believe it is time that we all come together
once again as major stakeholders in the affairs of the country and the
educational sector in particular to move on and begin to chart a new
course for advancing the sector and improving the standard of our
institutions for higher learning," he said. "There are no victor or
vanquished in this protracted disagreement."
The federal government last week indicated it would fire the striking
teachers today, but ASUU yesterday ignored the threat, opting to