The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has said that the Federal Government has paid N92 billion as earned allowances and revitalisation fee to federal universities.

The Labour Minister also briefed President Muhammedu Buhari on Tuesday on the warning strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities which has put students on edge across the country.

Ngige told State House Correspondents after briefing the President that the federal government all efforts were being made to ensure a resolution of the lingering industrial action.

He said that the Federal Government
was also looking into ASUU’s demand for the introduction of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) payment platform.

He said: “Why I said that the 2020 December agreement we had with ASUU is on course in terms of implementation, is that in that agreement, there is a line that says the Federal Government should pay N40 billion for (Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) for ASUU and other unions, that has been paid.

“N30 billion was also budgeted or was to be paid for revitalization that also was paid late last year. N22.127 billion was agreed also in that December agreement, to be paid from supplementary budget as Earned Allowances for 2021. That money was also paid last year.

It was put in the supplementary budget which was passed around June-July and the money was remitted. So, the government has done that.”

“UTAS, which the universities developed has been subjected to test by the body responsible for that, Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), which ran a user acceptance test also called integrity and vulnerability test, but in their report, they pointed out to ASUU, the areas of lapses in that platform, which will not make it usable as presently configured . But ASUU has written back to NITDA to say that some of those observations were not correct.”

The minister added that that the government had made arrangements for a meeting between the technical teams of NITDA and ASUU to repeat the test on the UTAS platform and resolve the observed differences.

The lecturers’ body has been engaging the FG on issues such as Earned Academic Allowances, promotion arrears, the sudden introduction of Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system, and observed inconsistencies emanating from its implementation, renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement, the funding for revitalisation of public universities among others.

ASUU wants the IPPIS to be replaced with its own University Transparency and Accountability Solution.


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