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Federal Government agrees to pay ASUU N34bn minimum wage arrears

ASUU chris Ngige

Nigeria’s Federal Government has finally agreed to pay ASUU around N34 billion in minimum wage arrears and consequential adjustments in the education sector beginning in 2019.

According to NAN, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, stated that the move was aimed at resolving the sector’s persistent crisis.

On Tuesday in Abuja, Ngige told reporters about the long-running protest by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and others.

Members of the striking ASUU and their equivalents in polytechnics and colleges of education, according to Ngige, will benefited from the Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustments.

Universities would receive N23.5 billion, polytechnics N6 billion, and colleges of education N4 billion, bringing the total value to N33.5 billion, according to Ngige.

While providing an update on the current strike, the minister stated that during the most recent tripartite meeting of the government and university-based unions, committees were formed.

He claimed they had been given a fortnight to submit their report and that they were still working on it, with committee reports due by the end of the week.

“Those committees are doing their jobs. The government’s Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, which is being tested on NITDA, is one of the three platforms (IPPIS).

“Also the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) of ASUU and the Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (UPPPS) of the non-teaching staff.”

They started the testing last Thursday. The National Salaries, Wages and Incomes Commission (NSWIC) has issued their amendment circulars.

“The unions also have copies to take care of responsibility and hazard allowances wherever it has not been properly captured.’’

As the government stepped up efforts to streamline pay through the National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission, Ngige guaranteed that compensation adjustments were likely.

“For instance, we’ve done it for the cops.” It wasn’t planned for us to do it in pockets.

“You can also see university professors screaming that their own should be done right away, just like we did for the cops.” As a result, action is being taken. It was part of the 2009 government-to-government negotiations.

“As a result, Prof. Briggs’ committee is working on it, consulting with university unions and their employer, the Federal Ministry of Education.” They will provide something to the government for inspection.

“There are other people. The doctors are complaining about brain-drain, this and that. Their hazard allowance has to be touched and it was touched by close to 300 per cent.”

“From N5,000 paid across board for each person, the least person in the health sector is getting N15,000, while the big ones are getting N45,000. So, that is the quantum leap.’’ he added.

As a result, the minister called to ASUU and other university-based unions to cease their strike so that academic activity in public universities across the country could resume.

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