The two weeks warning strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities will still continue despite government’s new proposals to the lecturers.
ASUU began the strike on March 9, 2020 after a disagreement with the Federal Government over Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System and other issues relating to university funding.
The leadership of ASUU and that of Federal Government delegation met at the Ministry of Labour and Employment for about eight hours on Tuesday, after which ASUU president, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, said that no pronouncement would be made until after presenting the new government proposals to members of the union.
At the meeting were the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige; Minister of State at the ministry, Festus Keyamo (SAN); Executive Secretary of the National University Commission; Minister of State for Education; Accountant General of the Federation; Permanent secretaries in the ministries of labour and that of education.
Leader of the government team, Ngige, told journalists at the end of the meeting after 11pm that both parties had fruitful deliberations on contentious issues, especially the issue of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.
He said, “The meeting was longer than anticipated because we had to look at all the issues that were in our 2019 Memorandum of Actions, especially those who had not been fully addressed. We made new proposal on behalf of FG to ASUU.
“These issues range from funding, revitalization of public universities, earned academic allowances, salary shortfalls in Federal University of Akure and the issue of state universities.
“We also addressed payment of earned academic allowances to University of Ilorin.
“On the Nigerian University Pension Commission, certificate was issued last year but operational certificate had not been issued because we do not have a permanent PENCOM board in place.
“We have made proposal on how NUPENCO board will be able to fulfill its obligation especially in terms of preparation of annual audit reports.
“Issue of visitation panel to the universities has been on the table since last year. Government side made progress in that approval has been gotten and we are waiting for the gazette of the membership of the visitation panel.
“Issue of IPPIS was also discussed and options and solutions were advanced. Government has a proposal which had been given to ASUU. ASUU will take these issues that are outstanding back to its National Executive Council for them to be on the same page before they get back to government.
“We have agreed that tentative date to get back to government is before the weekend runs out. We expect ASUU to write government before then to see if there will be need for further meeting.”
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