By G9ija

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate release of N20 billion for the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as revitalization fund of public universities.

The Ministry of Finance made this known on Monday, while also revealing Buhari also approved the immediate release of N22.68 billion as retirement benefits of ex-workers of the Nigeria Airways Limited (in Liquidation).

Recall that the ASUU signed a MoU with the FG sometimes in 2013 on the terms and conditions on which the government would improve funding for staff welfare and provision of critical infrastructure for public universities in the country.

“However, the implementation of this bilateral agreement has had certain challenges due to revenue shortages and other reasons,” read a Ministry statement.

According to the statement, “These funds will be released to beneficiary universities in line with the established criteria used by the National Universities Commission (NUC)”.

It furthers adds, “Progress of the implementation will be monitored with a view to resolving emerging issues and keeping the government’s promises to relevant stakeholders”.

Regarding the settlement of outstanding retirement benefits due to the ex-workers of the Nigeria Airways, the initial submission for their retirement benefits was N78 billion.

“This amount was verified by Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), and other relevant stakeholders in line with the condition of service of Nigeria Airways Limited in liquidation and other extant rules and regulations.

“At the end of verification, N45 billion was agreed as total retirement benefits of affected staff,” the Ministry said in the statement.