CONCLUSIONS REACHED AT THE MEETING HELD BETWEEN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THE LEADERSHIP OF THE ACADEMIC STAFF UNION OF UNIVERSITIES (ASUU) AT THE INSTANCE OF FEDERAL MINISTRY OF LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT ON FRIDAY, 20TH NOVEMBER, 2020 AT THE HONOURABLE MINISTER’S CONFERENCE ROOM
1. The meeting was convened as a follow up to the meeting held on Wednesday, 4th November, 2020.
2. The meeting deliberated exhaustively on the issues and concluded as follows:
i) Funding for Revitalization of Public Universities:
Responding to the demand for the immediate payment of 50% of the initial amount allotted for the purpose which translates to 110 billion naira, the FG stated that this is not feasible because of paucity of funds. The Government however offered to pay 25 billion naira based on the Memorandum of Action (MoA) of 7th February, 2019 signed with ASUU or in the alternative, urged ASUU to accept 30 billion naira with the reduction in the earlier on Earned Allowances. Between the revitalization and Earned Allowances, the FG has offered a cumulative sum of 65 billion naira.
ii) Earned Academic Allowances / Earned Allowances (EAA/EA):
The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) offered to immediately release 40 billion naira or in the alternative, 35 billion naira to be shared by all the registered Trade Unions in the Universities after providing necessary evidence of having earned the allowance.
The FG reiterated that her offer of 40 billion naira or 35 billion naira whichever is accepted by ASUU was for all the university Unions: ASUU had proposed that 40 billion naira be paid immediately for all the Unions.
Vice Chancellors are to submit details of the EAA / EA to the NUC on or before 30th November, 2020.
iii) Salary Shortfall:
The AGF stated that he is yet to get a full brief on the issue of the refund of the excess amount paid to the Federal University of Technology, Akure.
iv) State Universities:
The ASUU reported that work is ongoing between the National University Commission (NUC) & ASUU with considerable progress made and the Union expressed satisfaction.
v) Visitation Panels:
The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment (HMLE) informed the meeting that he had agreed with the Honourable Minister of Education (HME) and the Attorney General of the Federation that work can proceed while awaiting gazetting. Responding to ASUU’s request for a definite date for the inauguration of the visitation panel, the HML&E stated that the inauguration date would only be determined after the Universities have been opened. The FME has however been directed to publicize details of the visitation panels, including terms of reference and composition of the panels before the end of November, 2020,
vi). Re-constitution of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Re-negotiation Committee:
ASUU confirmed that they are satisfied with the progress made on the Reconstitution of the renegotiation Committee as the letters of appointment of the members were tendered and ASUU therefore expressed satisfaction.
vii). Integrity Test of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS):
ASUU informed the meeting that it had carried out a demonstration of UTAS to all Stakeholders and end users (Vice Chancellors and Bursars), on Thursday 5th November, 2020 at the NUC. They further informed that the Stakeholders who attended the meeting raised questions that were satisfactorily addressed during the exercise. The meeting agreed that going forward; all stakeholders must be carried along in this process to ensure transparency.
NUC also informed the meeting that they have received the report from the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and that they are also analyzing the data collected from participants with a view of responding to NITDA by next week.
ASUU also informed that it is working with the NUC and the NITDA on the issue of Data Center and it is satisfied with the progress made so far on the issue. However, ASUU requested that efforts should be made to speedily conclude this process.
viii) Withheld Salaries and Non- remittance of Check Off Dues:
The meeting agreed that the FME and FMLE will look into the issue of “No work NO pay” as stipulated in Section 43 of the Trade Disputes Act Cap T8 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004, with a view to getting approval for the withheld salaries to be paid.
It was also agreed that the mode of payment applied for the payment of those that had not been captured on the IPPIS platform between the months of February and June 2020 be adopted for the purpose of payment during this transition period. In addition, the meeting agreed that a suitable template that will address all the anomalies identified in the previous processes should be handled by the (1) Accountant General of the Federation (2) Executive Secretary of the NUC and the (3) Accounting officers (Vice Chancellors).
On the demand by ASUU for the payment of its check off dues, the AGF requested that the ASUU and other Unions should provide his office with the necessary information and dedicated account details in writing as this will facilitate the deductions and remittance of the check off dues.
NB: As at the time of filling this report, the academic staff union of Universities haven’t made an official announcement on suspension of strike. Check back for updates.