UPDATED: FG exempts ASUU from IPPIS, agrees to pay N30bn revitalization fund

NEWS DIGEST – The Federal Government has on Friday met with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to answer its concerns on the strike it embarked upon in March.

The Nigerian government at the meeting accepted the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, that its members be exempted from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS.

The leadership of both parties convened at the conference room of the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, in what will be the second meeting this month.

The meeting discussed extensively the agitations of ASUU since the strike began in March: funding for the revitalization of public universities, earned academic allowances, salary shortfall, proliferation of state universities, visitation panels, re-constitution of the 2009  FGN/ASUU re-negotiation committee,  the integrity test of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

According to the minute of the meeting, obtained by the News Digest, the Federal Government reiterated its inability to pay up to 50% of the amount demanded by ASUU for the revitalization of public universities—which translates to 110 billion naira—due to “paucity of funds.”

“The Government however offered to pay 25 billion naira based on the Memorandum of Action (MoA) of 7th February, 2019 signed with ASUU or in the alternative, urged ASUU to accept 30 billion naira with the reduction in the earlier on Earned Allowances. Between the revitalization and Earned Allowances, the FG has offered a cumulative sum of 65 billion naira,” the minute read.

The minute disclosed the Federal Government’s intent to release 40 billion naira, or in alternative 35 billion naira to be shared by all registered Trade unions in public universities, to offset earned allowances owed to the academic staffs.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, informed the meeting that work has started on effecting visitation panels but maintained that an inauguration date would only be announced after the reopening of public universities.

On ASUU’s opposition to the IPPIS, the association revealed that all concerns about UTAS were “satisfactorily addressed” at a demonstration of UTAS to stakeholders on 5th of November, 2020.

“The meeting agreed that going forward; all stakeholders must be carried along in this process to ensure transparency,

The National Universities Commission, NUC, told participants of the meeting that they have received a UTAS report from the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, and “they are also analyzing the data collected from participants with a view of responding to NITDA by next week.”