FG, ASUU STRIKE UPDATE
NOVEMBER 8, 2020 AT 12:00PM
AMIRU LAWAL BALARABE GIWA
It’s no longer news that the Academic Staff Union Universities (ASUU) has spent over eight months on strike. Series of meetings were held between ASUU and the Federal Government but all ended up deadlocked.
There appears to be no end in sight to the ongoing strike action. All hopes of students who are at the receiving end are dashed. If I am to pity any party in this standoff, I will pity ASUU members most of whom have not received a dime as salary since June.
These are husbands and parents with so many responsibilities on them. They are left with no option than to look for other means to make ends meet since hunger is not aware of strike.
Our innocent students are also bearing the brunt of this unfortunate strike action.
The FG should consider ASUU’s demands and accelerate discussions to let students go back to classes. We must not allow this situation to linger further. I also urge ASUU to be considerate in some of its demands in the interests of the hapless students.
Amiru Lawal Balarabe Giwa writes from Hayin Madara, Kaduna State
FG AND ASSU YET TO REACH AGREEMENT, NOVEMBER 8, 2020
The Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are yet to reach an agreement on the union demands.
Sen. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, said this while addressing newsmen at the end of a closed door conciliation meeting between Federal Government representatives and ASUU on Wednesday in Abuja.
“There are three issues and these include the revitalisation fund where government offered ASUU N20 billion, on good faith based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered into in 2013 as a result of the renegotiation with the then government in 2009.
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“This present government is still committed to it, while we are giving them offers of some fund.
“This government is not against revitalisation but this government says that because of the dare economic situation due to COV1D-19, we cannot really pay in the N110 billion which they are demanding for revitalisation.
“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 do not have any money to offer apart from this N30 billion,” he said.
He however, said that the cardinal issue was the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) versus the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System(IPPIS).
Ngige added that ASUU had submitted its document on UTAS for onward submission to National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
“As you know last week, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy had approved that NITDA gets ASUU system (UTAS) and subject it to integrity test.
“This test should be conducted without fear or favour and as early as possible. So today, they have submitted the document for onward transmission to NITDA.
“One other issue that has arisen is the issue of the transition period. How do ASUU get the Earned Academic Allowances that is due to them and any other entitlement that government wants to pay them,” he said.
He, therefore, noted that ASUU wanted an exemption from IPPIS.
According to him, on the government side headed by the Accountant General of the Federation,
we have 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 Federal Government has to offer.
“The government side will meet on Friday and after that they will communicate to ASUU and in communicating them, if there is a need for a meeting, a date will be fixed for it,” he said.
Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU President said that the union would wait for the Federal Government to meet on Friday and get back to the union by next week.