After seven months of strike and numerous meetings, the federal government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) finally met in the middle to put an end to the ongoing ASUU strike and reopen government-owned tertiary institutions.
In a meeting held on Friday, the federal government agreed to increase earned allowance (EA), revitalisation fund and exempt the union members from the controversial Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige gave a breakdown of the additional allowance, he said the Accountant General of the Federation has offered to release N40 billion “or in the alternative, N35 billion 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 N40 billion or N35 billion, whichever is accepted by ASUU was for all the universities’ unions. ASUU had proposed that N40 billion be paid immediately for all unions,” he said.
He explained that the money will address the issue of earned allowances and revitalisation of universities.
Ngige further said that the initial sum will be allotted to earned allowance (EA) and the balance of N25 billion or N30 billion will be allotted for the revitalization of universities.
He also said all vice-chancellors are expected to submit details of the ‘EAA/EA’ to the National Universities Commission (NUC ) “on or before November 30”.
The federal government also agreed to pay lecturers’ outstanding salaries through the old payment platform.
“We are also reviewing how the lecturers will be paid on the old platform (Government Integrated Financial Management Information System) until UTAS (which the lecturers are proposing) is ready for usage,” Ngige added.
However, ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, said ”ASUU will take the new offer to its members.”
“We will give the government our response by next week after discussing with our members,” he explained.
Pfizer, BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to be Available to UK Resident on Dec 7
The United Kingdom is planning to approve Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in a few days, according to government officials.
According to the officials, deliveries of the COVID-19 vaccine would begin a few hours after authorisation and the first injections could take place on December 7.
UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has named Nadhim Zahawi, the current junior business minister, as the minister responsible for the deployment of the vaccines.
Britain said on Nov. 20 it had formally asked its medical regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), to evaluate the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for its suitability, the first step in making it available outside the United States.
The UK ordered 40 million doses of the two-shot product, which the preliminary data showed to be more than 95 percent effective.
Npower News: CBN Job Options for Exited Npower Beneficiaries
The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria has launched an online portal called N-Exit to enable exited Npower Beneficiarieas apply for Central Bank of Nigeria Empowerement Options.
The ministry stated a statement signed by Bashir Nura Alkali, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry.
Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, urged interested exited npower beneficiaries to log on to the portal and add other additional information required for placements into the CBN intervention options.
The minister also stated that the NEXIT Portal will determine the suitability of the interested exited beneficiaries of Npower for teh CBN affiliate programes.
The statement reads, “The NEXIT portal is to determine the suitability of the beneficiaries for the CBN affiliated programs and is dependent on meeting the criteria and conditions set by the CBN for the said programs”.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria is very proud of the milestones you have achieved during your period of service to the nation. As we prepare to exit into prospective endeavors, we are confident that you will be able to channel all you have learnt over the years into successful ventures that will improve the economy of the country and create further opportunities for you and other citizens.
“Chasing a dream requires effort, passion and hard work which you are now halfway through. I congratulate you and wish you a very successful future”.
ASUU Expects to Call Off Strike Today as More Universities Accept FG’s Offer
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is expected to call off the ongoing strike later today or tomorrow following reports that most universities under the union have accepted government’s offer.
Last week, the government exempts ASUU from the controversial Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and offered to raise Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) from N30 billion to N35 billion and the revitalisation fund from N20 billion to N25 billion.
Therefore, the Federal Government offered the union a total sum of N65 billion and IPPIS exemption to call of the strike.
While some universities like the Ahmadu Bello University Branch had accepted the offer and insisted payment should be made before the union call of the strike, the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi (UAM) ASUU voted to continue with the strike until government implements what was offered during the negotiation.
Ezekiel Agbalagba, the Chairman of ASUU at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE), Delta State, said the congress accepted the EAA offer but rejected the N25 billion for the revitalisation of the universities.
However, Nigerians expect the union to call of the strike today or tomorrow after today’s meeting between the Federal Government and ASUU.
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