ASUU Has Received 7 out of 8 Demands - Ngige - EazyFeeds

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Thursday 24 November 2016

ASUU Has Received 7 out of 8 Demands - Ngige

The federal government said yesterday that it had met seven of the eight demands by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which yesterday ended a one-week warning strike over its welfare and condition of the nation’s public universities.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, told State House Correspondents that the issue was discussed on Wednesday at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo.

He said that the meeting approved the contract for the purchase of 40 operational pick-up vans from Innoson Automobiles, Nnewi and 27 cars from Peugeot Assembly plant in Kaduna for use by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
Ngige said while the government is understandably unable to offset the arrears of N284 billion being earned allowances of ASUU members, it conceded to their demand for the exclusion of endowment funds generated by universities from the Treasury Single Account (TSA) scheme.
The government had objected to the complete exclusion of all expenditures from the TSA on the ground that the scheme is not a punishment to ASUU or any agency but meant to ensure accountability in spending public funds, including those of the universities, Ngige explained.
ASUU had some demands about eight of them, seven of them have been trashed out. Government conceded to them the right to exclude endowment funds that accrue to universities from the Single Treasury Account, TSA.
“The TSA is not for punishment, it is an account that enables any government institution to know what their financial position is at any given time. It also makes for accountability. You pay in whatever you derrive from government funds, ask for it back and you get it.
“Government agrees to ASUU’s demand but limited it to only endowment funds. But that doesn’t also mean that at the end of the day, university councils will not have right to audit such an account, that is really the only area that is still contentious.
“The other aspect of it is the earned allowances. The earned allowances is the only one that is not sorted out now because everybody knows and agree that we are in recession.
If we are in a recession and you are asking us to pay you N284 billion, nobody will pay it because the money is not there.”
Ngige said ASUU agreed with that but government offered them some of the money pending completion of auditing of the first tranche of money given to the lecturers.
Although he lamented that some persons are slowing down the audit, the Minister assured that “Within those six months, government has offered something that they will be paying on a monthly basis. On this score, both parties have gone back to deliberate further on the conditions separately and resume negotiations next week”, he stated.

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