• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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ASUU strike: FG affirms readiness to improve lecturers’ pay

FG optimistic ASUU strike will end soon

Chris Ngige, the minister of labour and employment has stated that the government is actually interested in enhancing lecturers’ remuneration, and is disposed to comparing what they earn with their counterparts elsewhere.

The minister was at the presidential villa yesterday to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on the progress made over the ongoing negotiation between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over the ongoing strike.

Ngige, who spoke with the media after meeting with the president affirmed that the government was disposed to compare what they earn with their counterparts elsewhere and make compensatory increments if necessary.

“The federal government is not opposed to enhancing lecturers’ remuneration,” he said.

ASUU embarked on a one-month warning strike on February 14, 2022, over the inability of the federal government to keep to the agreements it entered into with the union.

The lecturers had presented the union’s proposed payment platform, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), to replace the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, (IPPIS), which ASUU bemoaned as being alien to the system considering its members’ nature of the occupation.

Read also: ASUU strike: Lecturers didn’t ask for N1trillon

According to Ngige, “The federal government had so far paid over N92 billion as Earned Allowances and revitalisation fee to federal owned universities across the country as part of the implementation of the 2020 December agreement reached with the university teachers.”

“Why I said that the 2020 December agreement we had with ASUU is on course in terms of implementation, there is a line that says the FG should pay N40 billion for Earned Academic Allowances, EAA, for ASUU and other unions, that has been paid.

“The N30 billion was also budgeted or was to be paid for revitalization that also was paid late last year. N22.127 billion was agreed in that December agreement, to be paid from the supplementary budget as Earned Allowances for 2021, that money was also paid last year.

“It was put in the supplementary budget, which was passed around June-July and the money was remitted. So, the government has done that,” Ngige said.

He assured that the matter with ASUU’s insistence on UTAS platform as against the IPPIS will be revisited.