Strike: FG Shifts Ground, Raises ASUU’s Fund To N65bn

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Prospects of university undergraduates returning to campus became more feasible yesterday as the federal government shifted ground on some of the demands made by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

After several hours of deliberation, the federal government made some adjustments, offering additional sum of N15billion to ASUU, making it a cumulative sum of N65billion for settlement of revitalisation funds for Universities and Earned Academic Allowances.

Although the strike still persists, the meeting which held at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment was however adjourned to Friday next week when stakeholders would further concretise the resolutions.

On the contentious Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System (IPPIS), ASUU informed the meeting that it had carried out a demonstration of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution UTAS, to all of stakeholders and end users on Thursday 5th November at the National Universities Commission NUC, where some stakeholders raised questions that had been addressed.

The meeting agreed that going forward all stakeholders must be carried along in this process to ensure transparency.

On withheld salaries and non-remittance of check off dues, they agreed that the Federal Ministry of Education and Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment should reconsider the “No Work, No Pay” policy with a view to getting approval for the withheld salaries to be paid.

A brief communiqué issued at the end of the meeting noted: “It was also agreed that the mode of payment applied for the payment of those that had not been captured in the IPPIS platform between the months of February and June 2020 be adopted for the purpose of payment during this transition period.

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“On the demand by ASUU for the payment of check off dues, the Accountant General of the Federation requested that ASUU and other unions should provide his office with the necessary information and dedicated account details in writing to facilitate the deductions and remittance of the check off dues”.

When ASUU and the federal government disagreed on these contentious issues, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, had offered the striking academics N50billion as Earned Academic Allowances and Revitalisation Fund respectively, but insisted that IPPIS would be the platform for payment, a term that ASUU has remained opposed to.

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