From Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Federal Government, on Friday, during a meeting with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) shifted grounds and offered a total sum of N65 billion for the revitalization of Nigerian universities and also agreed to exempt the union for the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige said this after a seven hour meeting and negotiation with ASUU. He said that the government had agreed to pay the salary arrears of ASUU members (February to June) through the government’s old payment platform, GIFIMS.
This is pending when the Natonal Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) report back to the federal government on their tests of ASUU’s University Transparency and Accounting Solution (UTAS). The Minister said that N65b is to address the issue of earned allowances and revitalisation of Nigerian universities.
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 said the lecturers will also be paid on the old payment platform pending the time when 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.
Meanwhile, the National President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, said “ASUU will take the new offer to its members. We will give the government our response by next week after discussing with our members,” he said.