The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has rebuffed the proposals made to it early this week by the Nigerian authority & has proceeded with its current strike.
At the 7th gathering with the leaders of ASUU on Tuesday, the Minister of Labor and Employment, Chris Ngige, said the labour feud with the university teachers was nearly being settled. He recorded the new adjustment made by the governemnt to ASUU.
As indicated by Mr Ngige, the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation & the Ministry of Finance displayed proof that N15.4 billion had been discharged to state funded colleges.
On earned academic stipends, he said President Muhammadu Buhari authorized N20 billion to balance debt of the 2009 to 2012 checked income by college teachers.
In an elite meeting with PREMIUM TIMES early this morning, the President of ASUU, Biodun Ogunyemi, said after looking into the offers made by the administration, individuals from the association over different campuses & zones refused it.
Mr. Ogunyemi, who depicted government’s offer on the exceptional rejuvenation reserve of N1.1 trillion as tokenism, said individuals are demanding that administration should discharge somewhere around a tranche of N220 billion spread across the 4 quarters of 2019.
He included that earned grant, government’s recommendation ought not be lesser than the aggregate sum discharged “the last time” out of the confirmed balance.
Review that as a piece of the understanding came to between the association & the administration before ASUU finished its industrial activity in September 2017, the Federal Government discharged an absolute N22.9 billion for earned grant of both academic & non-academic staff over 22 Federal universities.
Of the sum, academic under ASUU received N18.3billion, while non-teaching staff having a place with the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian University (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) & the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) received N4.6 billion.
The sharing equation, which was condemned by the 3 non-academic staff associations, had prompted pockets of complaint over different campuses at the time, and in the long run forced the associations to set out on long strike.
Clearly to maintain a strategic distance from the debate that welcomed the sharing of the grant in 2017, ASUU is demanding that the Federal Government ought to completely express the sum reserved for its individuals, which it said must not be lesser than N18.3 billion it got at that point.
Mr Ogunyemi said; “Our members have rejected tokenism with respect to outstanding revitalization fund of N1.1 trillion. They are insisting that government should release at least one tranche of N220 billion spread over four quarters of 2019.”
“On earned academic allowances, our members said government’s proposed amount out of the verified balance should not be less than the total amount released last time, while evidence of mainstreaming the allowances into the 2019 budget should be shown. Also, timeline should be attached to payment of the balance of the arrears.”
“The revitalization fund and earned academic allowances are the two critical areas on which our members feel strongly about. They expect necessary adjustments on the part of government before they can reconsider their decision on the ongoing strike action.”
ASUU had started what it named total & inconclusive strike on November 4, 2018, to request enhanced financing of colleges & execution of past assentions entered with the administration.
A portion of the requests as contained in the ASUU’s rundown of complaints, incorporate the usage of the 2009 FGN/ASUU assentions, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU; 2012 and 2013) & Memorandum of Action (MoA, 2017) and the truncation of the rebargaining of the association’s accord.
The association said its current strike is focus at forcing the administration to make funds accessible for the revival of state funded colleges dependent on the FGN-ASUU MoU of 2012, 2013 & the MoA of 2017, and that the operational permit of the Nigeria University Employees Pension Company (NUPEMCO) ought to be discharged.
The associations likewise requested the arrival of the scientific review report on Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), installments of all unpaid earned academic stipends & the mainstreaming of same into the 2019 spending plan.
The teachers likewise requested the installment of all unfulfilled shortage in compensations to all colleges that have met the authentication want of the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA).
In the interim, one of the real concern that has been hauling the transactions forward & back is the revival of the colleges.
As at Saturday morning, the administration was yet to discharge the N1.1 trillion of the N1.3 trillion it consented to accommodate the activity.
The 2013 MoU stated that state funded colleges required N1.3 trillion for a moderate revitalisation. The reserve was to be paid in tranches of N200billion in 2013, N220billion in 2014, N220billion in 2015, 220billion in 2016, N220billion in 2017 & N220billion in 2018.
The Goodluck Jonathan-drove government discharged N200 billion out of 2013 yet from that point nothing extra has been paid.
Prior, after its gathering with the Federal Government & not long after the Labour and Employment Minister got down to business with the message of a conceivable return of the teachers to their classrooms, ASUU had shown the likelihood of its individuals not welcoming the concessions.
Talking with PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday evening, Mr Ogunyemi had said the association was yet to achieve an accord with the government on any matter
He said what the association took from the administration were suggestion because “We told them where there were low and what our members will not take but they said that was the best they could give.” As indicated by him, the disparity between the last gathering & the prior ones was that it was the first time through the association was given figures “that we could take back to our members.”
He said the association heads cautioned government delegates that ASUU individuals were not liable to acknowledge those figures “but they insisted that we should go and inform them first.”
“We agreed to go back to our members in order to show to them that we are not difficult people. We have been having consultations and telling the government the initial reactions we are getting. So, if they want this problem resolved, they should consider the low things.”
Talking on the revival of colleges, Mr. Ogunyemi said if authority does not discharge another tranche of the conceded amount, his individuals would think the authority isn’t prepared to take care of the issue.
“Revitalisation is key to this issue. That was the point I was making when we had the exit engagement and Senator Ngige was saying we agreed on many issues. There are issues that did not require agreement. If you say you will set up a committee and you do, it is implementation not agreement. So, our intention is not to attack any government but to get our demands,” he said.
“They didn’t release any money. If we are talking about the N1.1 trillion that they should release in tranches and government has not said they will work towards releasing one tranche, then how do you think our members will take that from us? They are mixing up issues. They did not tell us if the N20 billion is a deposit.”
He said no Nigerian would admit the nation does not have cash to determine a portion of the disagreeable matter.
“I don’t believe any Nigeria will believe government does not have money for what they see as a priority. We keep telling them that overnight they brought out N800 billion to bail out what they now call Polaris Bank. When they had a problem with subsidy, they knew where they went to; so they cannot keep telling us there is no money,” he said.
On when the association would meet the administration to revive reagreement, Mr Ogunyemi said the association was all the while counseling.
“I am not going to determine whether we are resuming or not. Our members will determine that and we will go back to them,” he said. At the point when asked what ASUU is doing next, Mr Ogunyemi said the association was gathering its feedback to the authority.