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FG Tells ASUU Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) is A Must

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With or Without UTAS, ASUU Must Adopt IPPIS System, Says FG

Dr. Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, said the Federal Government had tried its best to meet the demands of ASUU.

He explained: “As we are now, the Visitation Panels for all the universities have been approved and it is in the Federal Ministry of Education for gazetting. The gazetting will make for the announcement of the lists and swearing in. All the panels will go to their various universities and work for six weeks. Hopefully, the list will be announced this week.

“Also, the renegotiation team will be named this week. Since Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN) is out as the chairman of the negotiating committee.

“ASUU leaders wrote to the government that they have developed their UTAS and it is ready for testing. The Federal Government wrote to the agency that can do testing, which is the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), to accept from them their system and subject it to test without fear or favour or bias and as quickly as possible.

“It was only last week Thursday that ASUU passed on the documents on UTAS and everything for transmission to NITDA. Just last week.

“But the government still insisted that they must be on IPPIS because whether you like it or not, even with UTAS developed, you must have a handshake with IPPIS.”

” Again other unions in the universities claimed that they have developed their own system too. These are National Association of Technologists, SSANU and NASU.

“They said they have developed a system which they gave another name too. They said they will never be part of UTAS; they said they should be counted out of UTAS.”

Ngige claimed that only three key issues needed to be resolved.

“The first issue is that ASUU is insisting that the Revitalization offer of N20billion for universities is unacceptable. They said they can only take N110billion. The government is saying we do not have N110billion to give you, it can only afford N20billion.

“Secondly, they said N30billion for Earned Allowances is for ASUU members only. The government says no, it is for all the unions in the universities because that is the agreement we reached earlier before we went into subsequent negotiation with these other unions and made offer to them.

“Thirdly with all these agreements, what is the mode of payment if we are going to pay you all these salaries and allowances tomorrow? In the meanwhile, you said you should be exempted from payment portal. The GIFMIS portal for universities has been dismantled, it does not exist anymore.

“The government is saying ASUU should get on to IPPIS, whenever your portal is ready, you migrate back to UTAS. That is where we are. Those are the three issues for determination.”

ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, in a statement on Sunday, said the rumor that the GIFMIS platform was used in paying ASUU members’ salaries before been dismantled should be completely ignored. He claimed that some of its members received part of their withheld salaries last week despite not been registered on the IPPIS platform.

According to him, the union has reduced demand on its outstanding revitalization fund of one tranche, N220 billion by 50%.

“For instance, our members have reduced their demand of one tranche (N220b) of the outstanding revitalization fund by 50%. The Union has also agreed that N30b out of the so far verified arrears of N40b of the earned academic allowances (EAA) be paid to our members while the balance of N10b could be spread over the next two tranches.”

The ASUU president confirmed that progress has been made on certain issues but the main bone of contention is the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

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UK Provides £29 Million to Support People Affected by Conflict in Northern Ethiopia

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The Minister for Africa Vicky Ford has announced an additional £29m of humanitarian aid to people affected by the catastrophic conflict in northern Ethiopia.

The announcement marks World Food Day today [16 October] and increases the UK’s commitment to the crisis to more than £75m – making the UK the second largest donor.

The Minister is also calling on all parties in Ethiopia to urgently agree a ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid through and for the Ethiopian Government to lift the de facto blockade of humanitarian relief into the Tigray region. The people of Tigray need 500 trucks of critical assistance per week, but less than 10% of this has been met since June.

The conflict has caused a humanitarian catastrophe, with the UN estimating that 5.5 million people face acute food insecurity. Over 400,000 people in northern Ethiopia are experiencing famine-like conditions – more than in all of the humanitarian crises in the rest of the world combined.

Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford, said:

The Ethiopian people are facing a humanitarian catastrophe and are in urgent need of support.

This pledge will provide vital food, water and healthcare to the hundreds of thousands of people facing famine in northern Ethiopia.

This is a man-made crisis. I urge all parties to urgently agree a ceasefire to allow humanitarian aid to reach starving people.

The new funding comes as the UK’s Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs, Nick Dyer, recently concluded his third visit to Ethiopia since the start of the conflict in November 2020, where he pressed for improved humanitarian access to the areas affected by conflict.

Special Envoy Nick Dyer said:

On my third visit to Ethiopia since the start of the Tigray conflict, I saw a further deterioration of the crisis and the conditions for humanitarian operations.

We are pleased to provide more funding but humanitarian agencies need access into all areas where people are in need now, so that lives can be saved and catastrophic famine avoided.

The conflict in northern Ethiopia has spread beyond the borders of Tigray now, so we are expanding UK funding to reach those in urgent need in Afar and Amhara.

The funding will be delivered by UN agencies and NGOs, including the WFP, UNICEF, and the Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund. Our partners expect to deliver lifesaving nutrition treatment for more than 100,000 malnourished children, and 27,000 pregnant and new mothers.

The pledge will also deliver clean water and sanitation for 26,000 people and provide services to prevent and respond to gender-based violence for almost 3,000 women and children.

It will also support people who have been forced to flee their homes by the spread of conflict across northern Ethiopia, providing shelter, healthcare, and support to children who have been separated from their families and to survivors of sexual violence.

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Travel

Air Passenger Traffic Rises by 9 Percent in Q2, 2021

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Drawing on data provided by the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has released its latest report on air passenger traffic. The report estimates total traffic in Q2 ‘21 at 3.2 million passengers, representing an increase of 9% q/q and 72% y/y.

However, despite this impressive year-on-year increase, the aviation sector is still recovering from the effects of the covid-19 pandemic as overall passenger traffic is still below pre-pandemic levels.

Based on the national accounts, Nigeria’s air transport segment grew by 4.9% y/y in Q2 ‘21 compared with a contraction of -11.8% recorded in the previous quarter. The reopening of airports and the reinstatement of flights, following the ease in movement restrictions and positive base effects contributed to the uptick in the segment’s growth rate.

For Q2 ‘21, passenger traffic on departures accounted for 50% of total domestic air travel and 51% of total international air travel. According to the report, 86% of total air passengers in Q2 ‘21 were domestic travellers, pointing to a 9% q/q increase.

Passenger traffic in the Lagos domestic airport increased by 13% q/q to 861,320 passengers. As for Abuja, there was a 9% q/q increase to 1 million passengers in Q2 ‘21. The Abuja airport accounted for the largest share (37%) of total domestic passengers during the quarter under review. While Lagos and Port Harcourt accounted for 31% and 7% of total passenger traffic (domestic) respectively.

As for international travel, air passenger traffic grew by 4% q/q and 2179% y/y. We suspect the growth mirrors the lifting of international travel restrictions and the rollout of vaccines globally.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global international air travel will continue to recover in 2022. However, low vaccination rates in Africa may remain one of the key obstacles to quicker air travel rebound.

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Education

iReader Joins Publiseer’s Expansive List of Store Partners

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Publiseer, Africa’s leading digital content distributing platform, on Monday announced that iReader, China’s leading mobile reading platform with over half a billion users, has joined its expansive list of online retail store partners.

iReader has a global reach, as it distributes over 600,000 book titles to 70 million active book readers in over 150 countries. This addition is to help Publiseer authors reach iReader’s global audience.

“Authors already distributing their books through Publiseer have to do nothing to get their titles on iReader. All they have to do is sit back and relax, and Publiseer will automatically send their titles to iReader,” says Chidi Nwaogu, CEO at Publiseer. “For those who want to opt-out from iReader, all they have to do is to shoot us an email, letting us know that they don’t want their titles distributed to iReader. Our partnership with iReader offers our authors exclusive featuring and merchandising opportunities, such as in-app marketing and promotions.”

Publiseer is a digital platform that helps independent and underserved African writers, musicians, filmmakers, and video game developers, typically those from low-income and disadvantaged communities, to earn above the minimum wage and live above the poverty line from the sales of their creative works. Every day, Publiseer discovers extraordinary local African creatives and gives them the platform to focus on doing what they love doing the most, which is to create, while Publiseer handles the tedious but important business of transforming their creativity into wealth for them.

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