Saturday, November 28, 2020

Federal Government makes additional concessions on ASUU’s demands

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The Federal Government has offered a cumulative sum of N65 billion to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to address earned academic allowances and revitalisation of universities.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, made the proposal on behalf of the government to the striking lecturers when they met in Abuja.

Briefing reporters at the end of the meeting, he described the negotiation as fruitful as government has decided to shift grounds on the lingering issues that have kept students out of the classroom for several months.

Ngige noted that in its bid to resolve the impasse with ASUU, N15 billion from the amount offered by the government would be to boost revitalisation of universities.

He explained that the fund was in addition to the N20 billion paid earlier, making it a total of N35 billion committed as revitalisation fund by the government.

The Minister said the visitation panel to universities will be inaugurated next week.

On the University Transparency Account System (UTAS) proposed by the union, Ngige said it is still work in progress.

He stated that the Ministry of Labour and Employment, as well as the Ministry of Education, would use the previous payment platform of the government before it introduced IPPIS to pay the withheld salaries of the lecturers under strict monitoring.

The ASUU president, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, who also addressed reporters, acknowledged that the government has made some new offers to the union and progress has been made.

He however said the union leaders would report to their organs and get back to the government on the position of their members.