….Removed ASUU from IPPIS

The Federal Government and the striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities struck some truce on Friday, after months of negotiation.

In a communique read at the end of their meeting by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, the Federal Government has offered a cumulative sum of N65 billion to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to address earned academic allowances and revitalisation of universities.

Also the Federal Government agreed to remove ASUU members from the payment platform of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System(IPPIS).

Ngige said the government also agreed to ASUU’s demand to pay their members’ salary arrears from February till June using the old salary payment platform, Government Integrated Financial and Management Information System.

“We are also reviewing how the lecturers will be paid on the old platform until UTAS is ready for usage.

“We agreed also that the withheld salaries are the component of the issue of ‘no work, no pay’ that was invoked and the Minister of Education and myself are working on that to get approval for the lifting of the embargo.

This is a transition period between the formalization of UTAS, and as soon as we finish this, the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, the National Universities Commission and the Vice Chancellors are to work together to make sure that the withheld salaries are paid through the old platform, which the Accountant General’s office used in paying the salaries of university workers that were not captured on IPPIs for the months of February, March, April, May and June.

Ngige said government also offered to raise the Earned Allowances to university staff from N30bn to N35bn and the revitalization fund from N20bn to N25bn.

Giving a breakdown of the N65 billion Senator Ngige said the Accountant General of the Federation, AGF, has offered to release N40 billion or in the alternative, N35 billion to be shared by all the registered trade unions in the universities after providing necessary evidence of having earned the allowance

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Responding to the demand for immediate payment of 50 percent of the initial amount allotted for revitalisation which translates to N110 billion, Ngige said it was not possible because of paucity of funds.

He said, “The government however, offered to pay N25 billion based on the Memorandum of Action (MoA) of 7th February,  2019 signed with ASUU or in the alternative, urged ASUU to accept N30 billion with the reduction in the earlier Earned Allowances. Between the revitalisation and earned allowances, the FG has offered a cumulative sum of N65 billion.”

According to him, “The Federal Government reiterated that her offer of N40 billion or N35 billion whichever is accepted by ASUU was for all the universities unions: ASUU had proposed that N40 billion be paid immediately for all unions.”

The Minister said all Vice Chancellors are expected to submit details of the Earned Academic Allowances/Earned Allowances to the National Universities Commission, NUC, on or before November 30.

The minister gave an update on the visitation panel to the universities, noting that the panel would be inaugurated next week.

The ASUU president, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, who also addressed reporters, acknowledged that the government has made some new offers to the union and progress has been made.

He, however, said the union leaders would report to their organs and get back to the government on the position of their members.