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FG, ASUU yet to reach agreement —Ngige

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New minimum wage effective from April 18 - Ngige

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said on Wednesday the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) were yet to reach an agreement on the union demands.

Ngige disclosed this to journalists at the end of a closed-door meeting between the federal government team and ASUU delegation in Abuja.

He said: “There are three issues and these include the revitalisation fund where government offered ASUU N20 billion, on good faith based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered into in 2013 as a result of the renegotiation with the then government in 2009.

“This present government is still committed to it, while we are giving them offers of some fund.

“This government is not against revitalisation but this government insisted that because of the dare economic situation due to COV1D-19, we cannot really pay in the N110 billion which they are demanding for revitalisation.

“We offered N20 billion as a revitalization fund. On Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), the government offered N30 billion to all the unions in the universities, making it N50 billion altogether.

“ASUU said the N30 billion should be for lecturers alone despite the fact that there are three other unions in the university system. So there is a little problem there. We do not have any money to offer apart from this N30 billion.”

READ ALSO: ‘We are ready to suspend strike,’ ASUU tells FG

He, however, said the major cause of discord between the two parties centered around the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) and the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

Ngige added that ASUU had submitted its document on UTAS for onward submission to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

“As you know last week, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy has approved that NITDA gets the ASUU system (UTAS) and subjects it to an integrity test.

“This test should be conducted without fear or favour and as early as possible. So today, they have submitted the document for onward transmission to NITDA.

“One other issue that has arisen is the issue of the transition period. How do ASUU get the Earned Academic Allowances that is due to them and any other entitlement that the government wants to pay them,” the minister added.

He insisted that ASUU wanted an exemption from IPPIS.

The ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said the union would wait for the outcome of the federal government’s meeting slated for Friday.

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