By Michael Oche, Abuja. |
There are indications that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may call of its strike next Wednesday as the federal government has agreed to release N30bn earned academic allowance to the university lecturers.
The was part of conclusion reached after its meeting as which ended late Thursday night between officials of the government and the leadership of the union.
In a communiqué signed at the end of the meeting, while respondingto the demand by ASUU for the payment of the two tranches which cumulated to 40 Billion Naira that has become over-due since November, 2019, the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) committed to release N30 billion on or before 6thNovember, 2020.
ASUU Strike Behind #EndSARS Protests, Says FG
The remaining 10 billion it was agreed would be spread equally over the two tranches to be paid in May 2021 and February 2022 respectively.
On the funding for revitalizationof Public Universities, the Government said, in spite of the Economic downturn as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, offered N20 Billion payable by the end of January 2021and ASUU agreed to take the offer to its members for consideration and revert by Wednesday 21st October, 2020.
According to the communique, The Minister of Education will follow up with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning on its earlier Memo to President Muhhammadu Buhari on sources of alternative funding for revitalization to facilitate the process of additional funding of the University system.
“This is with a view to reactivating the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of 2013 as agreed in the Memorandum of Action (MoA) of 2019,” it stated.
On the the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), the meeting was informed that ASUU has met its timeline regarding the first stage of the initial demonstration of the efficacy of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) to Government as this was done on Wednesday, 14th October, 2020.
It reads further, “The Meeting also agreed that if UTAS passes all the different stages of the integrity test which would involveNational Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)and the Office of the National Security Advisers (NSA) and after ascertaining its efficacy; it would be adopted for the payment of the University staff.
“Meanwhile the meeting could not agree on how payment would be done for ASUU members during the transitional period of UTAS tests as the Government side again appealed to ASUU to enroll on IPPIS platform in view of the Presidential directive that all Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) employees should be paid via IPPIS. They can thereafter be migrated to UTAS whenever certified digitally efficient and effective with accompanying security coverage. The ASUU maintained that given ASUU’s invention of UTAS, it should be exempted from IPPIS in the transition period.”
It was therefore agreed that the meeting will reconvene next Wednesday, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting for ASUU to report back on the decision of her NEC, in order to facilitate the calling off their strike.