After seven months of a strike by university lecturers, the Federal Government is set to present its final position on the action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, on Friday, November 6, 2020.
The Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, who is leading the Federal Government conciliatory team, made this known Wednesday night after another meeting with ASUU, the third in one month failed to reach an agreement as key government offices boycotted the meeting.
However, at the opening of Wednesday’s meeting Labour Minister said there are three issues, revitalization fund where the government offered ASUU 20 billion naira as a sign of good faith based on the MoU they entered into in 2013, and as a result of the renegotiation they had with the government in 2009.
Ngige noted that but for dare economic situation caused by covid-19, the government cannot really pay the actual 110 billion naira revitalization funds which ASUU is demanding.
On Earned Academic Allowances, EAA, Ngige noted the government offered N30 billion to all the unions in the universities, making it N50 billion altogether.
On IPPIS, the Minister revealed that ASUU submitted their document on UTAS for onward submission to National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA.
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy had last week approved that NITDA gets the system, UTAS, and subject it to integrity test.
Ngige said, ” How do you get the Earned Academic Allowances that is due to you because of any other entitlement that the government wants to pay you. And the government side headed by the Accountant General of the Federation said that IPPIS is the only government-approved payment platform. So that is where were are for now. So we are all going back to our principals and they will receive via me the irreducible minimum of what the Federal Government has to offer. The government side will meet on Friday and after that, they will communicate ASUU and in communicating them, if there is a need for a meeting, a date will be fixed for it…”
Ngige added: “…Apart from the issue of IPPIS, ASUU is saying that the N30 billion should be for lecturers alone, irrespective of the fact that there are three other unions. So there is a little problem there. We don’t have any money to offer apart from this N30 billion….”
In the meantime, the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Goong, in a post on the ministry’s official WhatsApp handle, confirmed a message by Queen Amina blog that, the Federal Government has threatened to drag ASUU before the National industrial court.