Approves visitation panels for universities
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The federal government said that it has made proposals to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on how to amicably resolve the issues in dispute.
After the negotiations, which ended last night, both sides agreed to adjourn to allow ASUU to take the proposals to its members and to respond to the federal government in writing on the issues raised.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, who addressed journalists, said the meeting discussed a wide range of issues, more than was anticipated.
He listed the issues which federal government made proposals to ASUU to include,
“We discussed some of the issues in our 2019 meeting, those that were not fully addressed, and made new proposals on behalf of the federal government to ASUU. These issues range from funding for revitalisation of universities to earned academic allowances; salary shortfall, that existed in only one university, that is the Federal University of Technology, Akure; the issue of state universities and the coordinating committee and the issue of their meetings and interaction with national economic council, payment of earned academic allowances, which has been done; the issue of the issuance of operational certificate to National University Pension Commission ( NUPENCO) to lecturers pension scheme for lecturers,” he said.,
With regard to the getting NUPENCO to become operational, Ngige said that government side has made proposals on how to put the board in place.
He also that the issue of having visitation panels for the Universities has been sorted out and approvals given, adding that what remains is the gazetting of the membership of the various panels.
On the issue of dispute over IPPIS, Ngige said that various options and solutions were canvassed at the meeting and that government has made proposals to ASUU.
He said that the ASUU team is to take the proposals to their members and to respond in writing to federal government on or before weekend
On his part, the President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi corroborated the minister’s claim, saying that the meeting had made concrete progress.
Ogunyemi also corrected the wrong impression that the negotiation is limited to just disagreement over IPPIS.
According Ogunyemi, some of the problems ASUU highlighted on IPPIS were already manifesting with series of complaints from those who registered and received February and January salaries.
He also blamed the federal government for causing the current crisis in the tertiary institutions by its recourse to use of force to register university workers on IPPIS platform.