The federal government and the University Graduates Union (ASUU) have not yet agreed on the union’s demands.
This was said by Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, as he addressed journalists in Abuja on Wednesday at the end of a conciliation meeting between representatives of the federal government and ASUU.
“There are three issues, and one of them is the revival fund, where the Government has offered US$20 billion to ASUU in good faith on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding that was concluded in 2013 as a result of renegotiation with the then Government in 2009.
This was said by Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, while addressing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday at the end of a conciliation meeting between representatives of the German government and ASUU.
“There are three issues, and one of them is the Revival Fund, in which the Government offered N20 billion to ASUU in good faith on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding that was concluded in 2013 as a result of renegotiation with the then Government in 2009.
“This government is not against revitalization, but this government says that because of the risky economic situation due to COV1D-19, we cannot really pay the N110 billion that it is asking for revitalization.
“We have offered 20 billion Naira as a revitalization fund. In the case of the earned academic grants (AEA), the government offered N30 billion to all the university unions, for a total of N50 billion.
The ASUU says that the N30 billion should be for professors only, even though there are three other unions. So there is a small problem. Apart from this N30 billion, we have no money to offer,” he said.
But the cardinal problem, he said, is the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) against the Integrated Payroll Information System (IPPIS).
Ngige added that the UAE had submitted its document through UTAS for presentation to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
As you know, last week the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy approved the reception of the ASUU system (UTAS) by NITDA and subjected it to an integrity test.
“This test must be carried out without fear or favour and as soon as possible. That is why they have submitted the document for presentation to NITDA today.
“Another question that has been raised is that of the transition period. How will ASUU receive its well-deserved academic grants and any other rights that the government may wish to pay them?
He therefore pointed out that ASUU wants to be exempted from IPPIS.
According to him, on the government side, under the direction of the Federation’s accountant general, we have said that IPPIS is the only payment platform approved by the government.
“So that’s where we are at the moment. So we are all coming back to our customers, and they will receive through me the irreducible minimum of what the federal government has to offer.
“The government side will meet on Friday, and then communicate with ASUU, and in communication with ASUU, if a meeting is necessary, a date will be set,” he said.
Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, president of ASUU, said the union will wait for the government side to meet on Friday and return to the union next week.