By Peter Usman
The Federal Government, on Friday, at a meeting with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU shifted grounds when it offered a total sum of N65 billion to Nigerian universities to address some of its demands.
The N65 billion will be given to address the issue of earned allowances and revitalization of universities.
Government also stated that the lecturers will now be paid their salary arrears on an older platform, different from the controversial IPPIS.
Ngige, while giving a breakdown of the money, said the Accountant General of the Federation has offered to release N40billion ”or in the alternative, N35 billion to be shared by all the registered trade unions in the universities after providing necessary evidence of having earned the allowance”.
The Minister said, “The FG reiterated that her offer of N40 billion or N35 billion, whichever is accepted by ASUU was for all the universities’ unions. ASUU had proposed that N40 billion be paid immediately for all unions”
He further explained that while the initial sum will be for the earned allowance (EA), the balance of N25 billion or N30 billion will be made for the revitalisation of universities.
Ngige urged all Vice-Chancellors are to submit details of the ‘EAA/EA’ to the National Universities Commission, NUC ”on or before November 30.”
On the issue of withheld salaries, Ngige said the ministries of labour and education will review the issue of ‘no work, no pay’ as stipulated in section 43 of the Trade Disputes Act Cap T8 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
He also asserted that the lecturers will be paid on the old payment platform pending the time all issues are resolved.
“We are also reviewing how the lecturers will be paid on the old platform (Government Integrated Financial Management Information System) until UTAS (which the lecturers are proposing) is ready for usage,” he said.