(Joan Nwagwu, NAN)
The Federal Government says it will set up a five-man committee to holistically study the complaints on the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS) by the unions.
The committee will examine the complaints with a view to harmonising its activities and operations.
Sen. Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment made this known as the conclusion reached at the end of the meeting between the Federal Government and the leadership of the Non-Academics Staff Union of Nigerian universities and other stakeholders on Wednesday in Abuja.
The Non-Academics Staff Union of Nigerian universities includes the Academic Staff Union of Educational, Associate Institutions (NASU) and the Senior Staff of Nigerian Universities (SSANU).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that NASU and SSANU had on Oct. 5, issued the Federal Government a14-day warning strike over alleged failure to address its demands.
The unions’ demands include inconsistencies in IPPIS payments, non-payment of earned allowances, non-payment of arrears of minimum wage, delay in the renegotiation of government NASU and SSANU 2009 agreements, among others.
Ngige said that the meeting after its deliberation was fruitful.
He said that it was resolved that a five-man committee should be set up to holistically look into the complaints on IPPIS by the unions with a view to harmonising its activities and operations.
“IPPIS is to involve the unions and identify those staff that have been captured but have not been receiving salaries and paid to them.
“The committee is to identify those unions whose check-off dues have been deducted but not remitted and paid to them. To facilitate this, unions are to forward the necessary data to IPPIS.
“On the issue of welfare, the unions are to submit the necessary document to assist IPPIS make deductions on or before Oct. 23. The committee is given two weeks to conclude its assignment, ” he said.
The minister said the members of the committee would be drawn from the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC), Ministry of Labour and Employment, IPPIS, National Universities Commission (NUC) and Office of the Head of Service of the Federation.
He said that the meeting resolved that the N30 billion earlier agreed with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on the Non-Payment of Earned Allowances would include all the unions in the university sector.
Ngige said that unions such as the National Association of Academic Technologist (NAAT), NASU and SSANU, and all the unions were to work with the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), NUC and Ministry of Education to achieve that by the end of December.
“On the non-payment of arrears of minimum wage, the office of the AGF is to compute arrears from April 2019 to January 2020 and forward to the Federal Ministry of Education to process it through the Ministry of Finance for payment. A timeline of two weeks was given.
“On the delay in renegotiation of government, NASU and SSANU 2009 agreements, the renegotiation committee will be reconstituted on or before Oct. 31 and renegotiation will be concluded on or before Dec. 31,” he said.
Ngige said that the meeting also resolved that on the issue of the non-payment of retirement benefits of outgone members that the AGF, IPPIS, OHCSF and the Pension Commission (PENCOM) are to make enquiries and update the meeting in two weeks.
He said that the universities were to forward the death benefit claims for members that died before March 2020 through the Ministry of Education to the OHCSF for processing.
Ngige said it also agreed on the Teaching Staff Usurping Non-Teaching Units in Clear Violation of Condition of Service and Establishment Procedures that the unions were to write to the NUC and the NUC should to act on the letter within two weeks
He said the meeting also agreed that on the neglect and poor funding of state universities, the NUC Act would be amended to strengthen its regulatory capacity.
He, however, noted that it was also agreed that the unions would work with NUC and involve the relevant Committee of the National Assembly (NASS).
“On the non-constitution of visitation panels for universities, the meeting was informed that the visitation panels to federal universities have been approved by Mr President but they have not been gazetted.
“The Federal Ministry of Education is to ensure gazetting within two weeks on Oct. 29.
“The meeting agreed that the panel will be inaugurated latest by the end of November and then it will have a four to six weeks’ mandate to finish its work by Dec. 31.
“This is subject to the gazetting and opening of universities and submit two reports per university covering five year periods of 2011 to 2015 and 2016 to 2020,” he said.