A member of the House of Representatives, Dachung Musa Bagos has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to channel the recently returned $23m Abacha loot into resolving the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Dachung Musa Bagos
KanyiDaily recalls that ASUU had embarked on a warning strike since February 14, over the failure of the federal government to meet its demands.
Amid the strike, the government and the union have held a series of meetings, but no agreement has been reached by both sides on ending the strike.
On Tuesday, the federal government and the US reached an agreement to repatriate a new batch of funds looted by Sani Abacha, the former Nigerian head of state.
Abubakar Malami, minister of justice and attorney-general of the federation, said the recovered loot $23m has been earmarked for the completion of the Abuja-Kano road, Lagos-Ibadan expressway and the Second Niger Bridge.
But speaking with Channels TV on Wednesday, Bagos who represents Jos South/Jos East is wondered why the recent Abacha should not be used to settle ASUU.
He said some of the areas the government channels the funds to are not the immediate needs of Nigerians, stressing that the lawmakers have the constitutional right to discuss how the funds would be spent for the benefit of the country.
“This is my third year in the national assembly, we have never discussed any of the recovered loot. We just sit down and we hear that the executive recovered loot and allot the same to projects that they so desire.”
“We believe that when we discuss these issues at the national assembly, [and] we appropriate those funds according to the needs of Nigeria, it is going to go a long way; not just the executive looking at it and alloting it to what they feel it should be. The constitution has given us that right.
“We have pressing needs. Like now, ASUU has been on strike and the government is trying to settle those issues.
“As a representative of the people, if I have to argue where those funds should be channelled to, I will say, ‘why can’t you channel part of this fund to ASUU so that most of the youths that are at home would go back to school?’
“But some of the areas we feel that the executive is channelling those funds are not the immediate needs of Nigerians,” the lawmaker said.
KanyiDaily recalls that the National Parent-Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) had proposed the payment of N10,000 per session for each parent to assist the government in resolving the ASUU strike.