The Federal Government, through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has revealed that the meeting held with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) was successful.
The meeting was aimed at evaluating the implementation of the Memorandum of Action (MOA) entered into by both parties, as a way to avert an impending strike.
Ngige, disclosed this while addressing journalists at the end of a closed-door meeting in Abuja on Monday, while explaining that the meeting evaluated seven main issues with both parties expressing satisfaction with the completion stages, adding that “work is in progress”.
According to the Labour Minister, some of the items in the MOA were nearly done 100 percent within the timeline.
The minister said that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) was instructed to expedite action on the integrity test on the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS).
He said, ”If successful, it will eliminate the challenges posed by the peculiarities of the university system to the current payment platform.”
Ngige said the government had also paid the N30 billion as the University Revitalisation Fund contained in the MOA since January 2021.
He said, “The report has been turned in, deliberated upon and both the Education Ministry and the NUC have promised to write to the Accountant General of the Federation next week for the release of the money to the NEEDS Special Account for onward disbursement to universities shortly.”
The minister added, “On the proliferation of State universities, a bill has been sent to the National Assembly by the NUC to strengthen its arms in terms of delisting universities where funding and other parameters are inadequate.
”ASUU is to go back to its members so that we can have a proper update on the extent of the inconsistencies in payment.
”We expressed our displeasure that these things are happening – amputation of salaries, not-too-clear, foggy things happening over peoples monthly emoluments. So we’ve asked IPPIS and ASUU to work together over this.”
The Federal Government and ASUU had to schedule a meeting yesterday in order to avert what looks like a looming industrial action by the union body.