…Appeals to ASUU to Suspend Strike

The Federal Government has said that about N34 billion would be spent on the on-going payment of minimum wage consequential adjustments to education sector workers with effect from 2019. 

The beneficiaries include members of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and their counterparts, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU).

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Dr. Chris Ngige, who disclosed this while responding to questions from labour correspondents in Abuja last week on the prolonged ASUU Strike, said the universities would get N23.5 billion; Polytechnics, N6billion and Colleges of Education N4billion, totalling about N34billion.

On the ASUU Strike, the Minister said the committees set up during the last tripartite meeting of the government and the university-based unions were given a forthright to turn in their report.

While noting that the reports of the committees were being expected by soonest Dr. Ngige said: “Those committees are working. The one on NITDA is testing the three platforms, the government’s Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), the ASUU University Transparency Solution (UTAS) and the Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll

System (U3PS), of the non-teaching staff.  

They started the testing last week Thursday. The National Salaries, Wages and Incomes Commission, (NSWIC), has issued their amendment circulars. The unions also have copies to take care of responsibility and hazard allowances wherever it has not been properly captured.”

Dr. Ngige assured that there might be wage adjustments as government intensifies efforts to streamline wages through the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission.

“We have done police for example. It wasn’t envisaged that we should do it in pockets. But you can see university teachers saying that their own should be done immediately, since we have done police.

“So something is being done. It was part of the 2009 negotiation they had with the government then. So, the FG Committee headed by Prof. Nimi Briggs is on it, discussing with the university unions and their employer, the Federal Ministry of Education.  They will bring up something for government to see.

“There are other people. The doctors are complaining about brain drain. Their hazard allowance has to be touched and it was touched by close to 300 per cent. From N5, 000 paid across board to each person, the least person in the health sector is getting N15, 000, while the big ones are getting N45, 000. So, that is the quantum leap.”

The Minister for the umpteenth time appealed to ASUU and other university-based unions once more to suspend their strike, so academic activities could resume once again in public universities across the country.