Strike: FG not opposed to higher pay for lecturers — Ngige

 

ABUJA — Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, yesterday, briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the progress made over the on-going negotiation between Federal Government and the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.

 

Meanwhile, government has dismissed insinuation that the Federal Government was not interested in enhancing the remuneration of university lecturers, saying government was not opposed to it.

 

Recall that 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.

 

ASUU had presented its proposed payment platform, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, to replace the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, which the universities based unions have lamented has caused them hardship

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Speaking to State House correspondents after meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Ngige assured that the government was disposed to comparing what they earn with their counterparts elsewhere and make compensatory increment if necessary.

 

He said 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

 

According to him, “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 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.”

 

On the controversial issue of introducing the UTAS payment platform as preferred by ASUU instead of the IPPIS, the minister said the matter would be revisited.

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