The ongoing dialogue between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is to continue next week on Wednesday, 21st October to enable the leadership consult their organs on the offers and agreements reached at this last meeting.

Presenting the outcome of the meeting, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said that Government had pledged to pay the sum of N40 billion, being the pending Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) of University teachers.

He explained that out of that amount, N30 billion would be paid on or before 6th November, while the remaining N10 billion would be spread equally over two tranches to be paid on May 2021 and February 2022.

According to Ngige, Government’s commitment to pay was in response to “the demand by ASUU for the payment of two tranches of EAA which cumulate to N40 billion that has become overdue since November, 2019.”

Though the Federal Government agreed to fulfill its financial obligations to ASUU members, particularly outstanding salaries and earned allowances, the parties could not agree on the mode of payment.

The government side appealed to ASUU to enroll on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) platform in the mean time, and migrate back to the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) after its efficacy had been proven through the necessary integrity tests. The Union refused, insisting on being exempted from IPPIS.

“The meeting also agreed that if UTAS passes all the different stages of the integrity test, which would involve the National Information Technology Develooment Agency (NITDA) and the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), and after ascertaining its efficacy, it would be adopted for the payment of the University staff.”

Government also offered to pay, by the end of January 2021, the sum of N20 billion as funding for the revitalization of public universities.

The president of ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, appealed to Government to treat the matter as a national emergency, as the Education sector needed urgent intervention.

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