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Ngige briefs Buhari on govt’s negotiation with ASUU, claims union received N92bn

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The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, on Tuesday briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the ongoing negotiation between Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The union embarked on a 30-day warning strike on February 14 to press home its demand for N1.2trillion revitalization funds for the university.

The varsity lecturers are also demanding the adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) payment platform, among others.

Ngige, who addressed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting with the President, said the federal government had so far paid N92 billion as earned allowances and revitalisation fee to federal universities across the country.

This, according to him, was part of the December 2020 agreement reached with the ASUU.

The minister said: “Why I said that the 2020 December agreement we had with ASUU is on course in terms of implementation. 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.

READ ALSO: ASUU warning strike a breach of labour laws – Ngige

“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.”

He promised that the government would also revisit the issue of UTAS.

Ngige added: “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.”

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