FG Approves N400 Billion Fund for Varsities, Say SSANU

The Federal Government has approved the sum of N400 billion for infrastructural development and provision of basic needs for Nigerian universities in line with its plans to make them meet international standards.

President of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) Comrade Samson Ugwoke stated this at the weekend while addressing union members at SSANU’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting held at the University of Abuja.

Ugwoke said document on the approval will be made available today at the meeting of the Presidential Committee on Implementation of the needs assessment in the universities with the leaders of SSANU, National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

While briefing members on the activities of the Governor Gabriel Suswam’s led universities needs assessment implementation committee, Ugwoke said the mentioned sum is different from the N100 billion Governor Suswam has raised to tackle the problems of Nigerian universities in the year 2013.

“Let me give you a tip of what the Needs Assessment Committee is doing. The President has approved that within the next four years, N400 billion would be expended in infrastructural development of Nigerian universities to transform the universities to international standard.

“N100 billion has been raised by Suswam Committee; he has done that already. Sixty one universities have been pencilled down as contained in the Needs Assessment Committee report. These 61 universities will share the N100 billion in various categories which include refurbishing and renovation of lecture theatres and lecture halls, refurbishing and renovation of laboratory/library and the renovation of hostels.

“The second category is building of new hostels of international standard; self-contain rooms, the latest model in the world. That is the standard to be built in every university, and also the state of the art laboratories as well as classrooms, lecture theatres and the halls,” Ugwoke said.

Speaking of welfare of members, Ugwoke said: “I know that our members will be saying that what does the committee says about our members. I can assure you that our members will never be relegated, they will never be sacked or retrenched, there is nothing like that in the terms of reference of the Presidential Committee on the Implementation of Needs Assessment.”