THE meeting between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, over the poor funding of Universities and the controversy surrounding the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, payment platform, yesterday ended without any resolution.
This is as the Federal Government at the meeting which held at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Abuja, said it cannot afford the N110 billion demanded by the ASUU for funding of revitalisation of universities
Speaking at the end of the meeting, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige told journalists that the government cannot meet the demand of ASUU of revitalisation because of the damaging effects of COVID-19 on the economy.
Senator Ngige disclosed that the Federal Government has offered the union N20 billion for revitalisation and N30 billion for Earned Academic Allowances, making it N50 billion all together.
The minister said the government side made all these offers to show its commitment towards the resolution of the prolonged strike of the union.
According to him, “There are three issues. revitalization fund where government offered ASUU N20 billion as a sign of good faith based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) they entered into in 2013 as a result of the renegotiation they had with government in 2009. This present government is still committed to it. That is why we are giving them offers of some fund,” Ngige said.
“This government is not against revitalization but this government says that because of dire economic situation and COVID-19, we cannot really pay the N110 billion which they are demanding for revitalization.
“We offered N20 billion as revitalization fund. On Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), the government offered N30 billion to all the unions in the universities, making it N50 billion all together.
“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.
ASUU to FG: We’re ready to suspend strike if…..
….Accuses FG of using hunger as a tool against members
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said the Federal Government’s plan of using hunger as a weapon to weaken its agitation and demands will not work.
This is as the Union said it is ready to suspend the seven-month-long strike but cannot work on empty stomachs.
Ibadan Zonal Coordinator, Prof. Ade Adejumo, made the disclosures on Wednesday during a press conference to give an update on the strike action.
Adejumo who spoke through Prof Moyo Ajao, Chairperson, Unilorin ASUU urged well-meaning Nigerians to compel government to release the withheld salaries of its members, remit the check-off dues of the union to the rightful owner and speed up the process of testing the integrity of UTAS so that it may be deployed for payment beginning from January 2021.
ASUU: We are no longer responsible for the lingering strike —FG
The federal government has said it’s no longer responsible for the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
Emeka Nwajiuba, Minister of State for Education said there is nothing that should be stopping the lecturers from returning to classrooms.
Nwajiuba explained that the government has done what it needs to do, adding that the lingering strike should be blamed on the lecturers.
He spoke on Channels Television while responding to why university lecturers have not called off their industrial action.
According to the minister: “The lecturers can be back in the classroom tomorrow if they say they want to go back. There is nothing withholding the lecturers from entering the classroom tomorrow.”