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FG INTENDS TO PAY ACADEMIC ALLOWANCE ONLY IF ASUU END STRIKE

It was established yesterday that the striking lecturers will be paid their earned academic allowance from the N50 billion released by the federal government only after they call off their strike.

The government said the N50 billion was set aside for the university-based unions as part of efforts to end the strikes.

The Joint Action Committee of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Educational Institutions have suspended their strikes for a period of two months, following a meeting with the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu.

They were followed by the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), which also called off its own three-month strike.

The Director of Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education, Ben Gong, said in Abuja that the government had met ASUU’s demands and the union would have its own share of the N50 billion.

His words: “ASUU itself has admitted that the government has met 85 per cent of its demands, except that Prof Osodeke seems to be going back and forth.

“At some stage he (Prof Osodeke) will tell you that they have agreed on all the issues except the no work no pay issue and that the government should sign the agreement. He said it himself.

“At another stage he (Prof Osodeke) would say that there was no agreement on one of the issues.

“The truth is that we actually agreed on all issues except the no work no pay policy.

“The N50 billion will not be released until ASUU resumes operations. A ratio is set for any money released during ASUU strike; it is two to one in favor of ASUU.

“What is due to the other unions will be released to them as they have resumed. But ASUU’s share will be withheld until they resume.”

He said the federal government had rejected the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) – payment platform developed by ASUU.

However, Gong said the government has set up a committee to harmonize UTAS, the University Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (U3PS) and Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) into one single payment platform for all government employees.

“The government rejected UTAS, but it is still going to use UTAS with U3PS and IPPIS to come up with one payment platform for everyone who is paid by the government.”

ASUU President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, could not be reached for comment last night.

He did not return calls made to his cell phone numbers.

It was learned that the government, through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), was in the process of releasing additional N100 billion as revival funds to universities.

Our members are still on strike, says Gombe University ASUU
Although lecturers in some state-run universities have withdrawn from the ASUU strike, the chairman of Gombe State University’s chapter of the union, Dr. Suleiman Salihu Jauro, yesterday said he and his colleagues are still in the fight.

The university management, in an internal memorandum dated September 1, 2022, instructed all academic staff to resume service, and placed registers in all department head offices for those willing and ready to resume.

It also threatened to invoke the doctrine of no work no pay for those who fail to resume no later than Friday, September 9, 2022.

The memo entitled “Resume of academic activities” was written by the university’s registrar, dr. Abubakar Aliyu Bafeto, signed.

He said the university’s Governing Council, during its second emergency meeting held last Thursday, deliberated on the protracted industrial action undertaken by ASUU and “decided and instructed that all academic staff should resume work immediately.

“Attendance registers have been provided in all HOD’s offices for those willing and ready to resume.

“That the university management should invoke the doctrine of no work no pay for those who failed to resume before Friday 9 September 2022.

“Consequently, the university wants to bring this information to the attention of all academic staff.”

However, the local ASUU chairman told The Nation that “our members are still actively on strike and you can quote me on that.”

He said ASUU will hold a congress to decide on its next course of action.

The lecturers began a one-month warning strike on February 14, which escalated to indefinite action following what they called the government’s failure to meet their demands.

Some of the union’s demands included: funding for revitalization of public universities; payment of Earned Academic Grants (EAA)/Earned Grants (EA); payment of salary shortfalls; stop the proliferation of state universities by governors; setting up visiting panels.

Others are the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement; adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as a payment platform for university lecturers and payment of withheld salaries and non-remittance of sign-off fees

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