… Begins consultation with members
The contracted fued between the government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may soon be over, NewsSpecng learnt.
ASUU has been on strike since March this year to press home their demands over earned academic allowance among other issues.
The government after prolonged spat with the university lecturers offered to release N65 billion.
The government said the money will be released next year February.
This means that the Earned Academic Allowances will be raised from N30bn to N35bn and the revitalisation fund from N20bn to N25bn, including the additional N10 billion it promised to release next year February, totaling N65 billion.
Consequently, ASUU leadership asked to be given one week to report back after meeting with the over 70 branches.
It was learnt that with the latest development, ASUU may call of the eight months strike. Though ASUU National President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi was reported to have said he does not have the power to call off the strike, he however said consultations are already ongoing.
Ogunyemi said: “We are consulting with our organs. When we have new information we will share it.
“We are reporting back to the government on Friday. That is when the consultation will end.”
The Federal Government on Friday agreed to ASUU’s demand to pay their members’ salary arrears from February to June through the old salary payment platform, pending when the university lecturers will complete the development of its own payment platform- the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
Cumulatively, the government, through the Accountant – General of the Federation, offered the lectures N65 billion to call off their eight-month-old strike.
The government also shifted grounds on a number of issues, including the insistence that all the academic staff of the federal universities must be paid through the IPPIS platform.
“The government, however, offered to pay N25 billion based on the Memorandum of Action (MoA) of 7th February 2019 signed with ASUU or in the alternative, urged ASUU to accept N30 billion with the reduction in the earlier Earned Allowances. Between the revitalisation and earned allowances, the FG has offered a cumulative sum of N65 billion.
“The Accountant-General of the Federation offered to immediately release N40 billion or in the alternative N35 billion to be shared by all the registered Trade Unions in the universities after providing the necessary evidence of having earned the allowance.
“The FG reiterated that her offer of N40 billion or 35 billion whichever is accepted by ASUU was for all the universities unions: ASUU had proposed that N40 billion be paid immediately for all unions,” the government said in a communique issued at the end of Friday’s meeting.