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Ngige, ASUU leadership agree on payment of outstanding arrears, university teachers to consider government’s offer before strike is called off

Nigeria’s government has agreed to pay N30 billion to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as a part payment of the earned academic allowances (EAA).

This was disclosed by Chris Ngige, Nigeria’s minister of labour and employment at the end of a meeting he held with ASUU leadership in Abuja.

ASUU has been on strike in the last seven months  over unpaid entitlements. The body is also angry that the government is insisting on enrolling its members  on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

According to Ngige, ASUU agreed to take the offer to its members for consideration, promising to send word back to the government in the next one week.

In the words of the minister, “In spite of the economic downturn as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, government have offer N20 billion payable by the end of January 2021.”

“The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) was committed to release N30 billion on or before Nov. 6.

“The remaining N10 billion would be spread equally over the two tranches to be paid in May 2021 and February 2022 respectively. The OAGF should quickly conclude the verification of figures of EAA claims so as to clean up the figures from 2014 to 2020.

“To this end, a committee would be constituted by NUC to develop a template that would capture all the agreed allowances in the 2009 Agreement for all the Unions in the Universities.

“Thereafter, the OAGF and the National University Commission (NUC) are to quickly conclude the verification of the EAA figures, so as to defray the payment from 2014 to 2020. ASUU is to work with the OAGF and NUC to achieve that by the end of December.” He concluded.

He also disclosed that the process of mainstreaming the EAA into the annual budget using the agreed formula will be activate, suggesting that the National Universities Commission (NUC) and ministry of education are to coordinate the activation process immediately and which will be concluded by November 6.