Lecturers fault govt, lament non-payment of salaries

N40bn allowance: ASUU defends sharing method, varsity employees start protests

N40bn allowance: ASUU defends sharing method, varsity employees start protests. Non-academic unions in universities and the Academic Staff  Union of Universities on Tuesday differed on the Federal Government’s N40bn earned allowance for the establishments’ employees.

While ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi,  in an interview justified the quantity promised lecturers out of the N40bn, non-academic unions described the Federal Government’s sharing components as illogical and a divide and rule tactic.

The unions spoke as protests by non-academic employees over the  Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System and the N40bn earned allowance rocked college cities throughout the nation on Tuesday.

The Federal Government had,  on December 22, as a part of agreements reached with ASUU,    promised to launch N40bn earned allowance to universities. The educational union had on December 24 suspended a strike, which it began on March 23.

But the non-academic unions, which kicked towards the N30bn promised ASUU, stated the sharing components was 75 % (N30bn) for the lecturers and 25 % for different unions.

N75% promised ASUU will breed corruption – Union

The General Secretary of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, Mr. Adeyemi Peters, in an interview,  stated the failure of the federal government to implement the suggestions of the forensic audit report on the earned allowance was the reason for the present disaster over the sharing components.

Peters stated the award of 75 % of the fund to ASUU was not based mostly on any logic, noting that it could additionally breed corruption.

He defined that the audit report of consultants engaged by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation beneficial the quantity every college would earn as effectively the overall quantity that must be paid to the unions.

Peters stated, “Since 2013, the federal government has been releasing cash, however these releases have been carried out in a way that ASUU will get a much bigger chunk of what’s launched. So, the non-teaching employees stated the federal government ought to conduct a forensic audit of what had been paid to date.

“It was agreed to by all of the unions; and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation employed some consultants that carried out the forensic audit of what had been launched, what had been paid, and what was remaining.

“And what we said was that if the forensic report is out, the distribution of the money (N40billion) should be based on the outcome of the forensic report, which probably would have shown how much each staff member has received, and the outstanding and you can use that to determine scientifically the quantum of what each of the union gets, but the government abandoned the report and decided to now say the N40b should be shared 75 percent to ASUU and 25 percent to other unions.”

“We said no, that would contradict the idea of the forensic audit. What they are proposing is not based on any logic and it doesn’t portray transparency. That is why we are insisting on the use of the audit report to determine what would be paid to every staff member and what each union would get.”

The NASU secretary stated his union didn’t have any challenge with ASUU, however with the federal government which he accused of awarding the sharing share randomly.

Peters famous, “What if what you owe them (ASUU) is below the percentage you give to them? We don’t have a problem with ASUU, but we have a problem with the government. The approach of the government is biased in the distribution and it will not guarantee industrial peace.”

Also, the President of the National Association of Academic Technologists, Mr. Ibeji Nwokoma, in an interview with The PUNCH, accused the Federal Government of utilizing divide and rule ways to polarise the unions.

READ ALSO: Kogi University staff protest over IPPIS, N40bn sharing

He acknowledged that the choice to allocate N30b to ASUU was unfair and unacceptable, noting that the federal government had not disclosed the yardstick for the sharing components.

Nwokoma acknowledged, “We aren’t towards the federal government giving any union what they assume they need to give, however the fact of the matter is that what’s sauce for the goose can also be sauce for the gander. Our earned allowance has been paid solely as much as 2011, whereas ASUU has been paid as much as 2015 and in case you give them N30b, you’ll now pay them to 2020. So, it’s unfair, it’s unjust and acceptable. The authorities is utilizing a divide and rule system.

Nwokoma stated ASUU was most likely being rewarded with the large sum for occurring strike, stressing that every of the unions might floor the college system. We have given the federal government a 14-day ultimatum to assessment the sharing components or we might shut down the schools.”

The President of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, Mohammed Ibrahim, through the union’s protest on the University of Abuja on Tuesday, stated, “If the federal government stays adamant and the problems aren’t addressed, JAC (the Joint Action Committee)  will take an motion on Thursday.

“We also have our children in universities.  We hope that government will do the needful before the end of the three-day protest, but if that is not done, which we are not praying for, by Thursday  we will be able to tell the whole world our next line of action.”

Also at UNIABUJA, the  Treasurer of NASU, Sadiat Hassan, in an interview with journalists, stated,  “We are protesting towards the irregularities within the  IPPIS cost and demanding the renegotiation of our 2009 settlement which has been lengthy overdue.

“We are additionally protesting towards the non-payment of our earned allowances and injustice that was carried out by the Federal Government within the distribution of the earned allowance as a result of they gave a specific union 75 % and different unions 25 %.

“This is against the agreement reached in October (last year) that the money should be for all the unions. So, we expect them to do justice to everybody.”

Also, members of SSANU on the  Federal University Lokoja, Kogi State as early as 8 am on Tuesday launched into a peaceable protest.

The Chairman of SSANU/JAC within the college, Uche Onyedi, threatened that the unions would start a nationwide strike if the federal government failed to satisfy their calls for.

Addressing journalists throughout a  protest on the Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara State, the Chairman of JAC of the college, Mallam Muddasir Musa, stated, “We tried to satisfy with them (authorities) and clear up the issues, nevertheless it by no means labored.

“ We have decided to protest and if it fails to work, we will have to embark on a strike because it is the only language government understands.”

At the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, JAC  lamented that becoming a member of the IPPIS launched by the Federal Government had impoverished employees.

The JAC Chairman, Sulisma Jatau, who spoke to journalists on the graduation of the three-day protest by the unions, stated the teams joined the IPPIS in error.

He acknowledged, “The unions within the universities joined the IPPIS as a result of we had been deceived that it was a platform that will eradicate corruption and convey transparency.

“We even complained about some irregularities we had in some universities. We went there (Abuja) and rubbed minds and it took us nearly six months to inform them that we had some peculiarities in some universities and the platform wouldn’t seize them.

“They promised us that that the platform can be versatile that it could embody all the things,  however to our dismay, once we joined, we grew to become poorer than we had been.

“Our salaries are being deducted unnecessarily.  In fact, for the past 11 months, we have been getting different salaries. So we discovered that for you to correct one anomaly, you have to go to Abuja. This is counterproductive. We now believe that the IPPIS is corrupt.”

He stated that the union signed a memorandum of understanding with the Federal Government on the problem on  October 20, 2020,  however nothing had been carried out.

He stated: “We have waited for therefore lengthy for the Federal Government to have the ability to perceive our plight. We should cry aloud to inform the general public that we have now been shortchanged and the Federal Government just isn’t delicate to our personal plight.  That is why we have now to carry this protest to press dwelling our calls for.

“We have to do this protest at this moment because of the announcement of the resumption date of the universities. We have so many issues on the ground and as law-abiding unions, we don’t want to disrupt the calendar of the schools.  That is why we want the government to be very proactive and come to our aid and meet our demands before schools resume.”

But the President of ASUU, Ogunyemi, within the interview with The PUNCH, absolved the union of blame within the sharing components disaster.

Ogunyemi maintained that his union had an understanding with the federal government and what ASUU can be paid had been spelled out.

He acknowledged, “I’m not going to enter the controversy. There is not any drawback with ASUU. I’m not going to enter any debate with anyone. All I do know is that we have now an understanding of what the federal government would pay ASUU. We consider the federal government would pay.

“What they’re to pay ASUU members has been spelled out. The quantity to be paid to every college has been spelled out and that’s what we consider we might be paid.

We have an understanding with govt, others can ask for his or her rights too – ASUU

“I  don’t have business with any other union. Our concern is with ASUU members. I don’t have a problem with any other unions because they too are asking for their rights. So, our rights should not stop their own and their own rights should not stop ours. Whatever they think they are qualified for we don’t have a problem with that. We know what our members deserve and what has been established for our members we believe that the government would pay.”

He additionally stated ASUU was discussing with the federal government the cost of the earned allowance.

Recall that Ogunyemi, when he introduced the suspension of the 9 months strike which began on March 23, 2020, and ended on December 24, 2020, stated that the Federal Government promised to pay the cash earlier than the top of  December 2020.

Ogunyemi on Tuesday stated, “We are engaging government on that. There were some initial obstacles and we have surmounted that obstacle so we have some understanding.”

READ ALSO: Payment platform disaster: FG might drop IPPIS for ASUU, others as opposition grows

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