The Federal Government has said that it is not opposed to the payment of good emolument to lecturers in the universities.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said this Tuesday while responding questions from State House reporters after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
He recalled that the President after consultation with some stakeholders including the National Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) had mandated him to find a quick solution to the strike.
He said a meeting had been held with ASUU with another one planned for Tuesday, adding that the two areas that have not had issues properly analysed are earned allowances and revitalization, “otherwise, we have put timelines on most of the other things.”
He said a timeline had been given for the draft proposal the union has at the ministry of education for their conditions of service and wages to be concluded.
He said: “Yes, our university lecturers here deserve good pay. A worker is due his wages. So, if we compare with what obtains in other climes and they are not adequately remunerated, there is nothing that stops government within the lean resources we have to do some compensation raise and make them happy.
“So, we are not opposed to that but there is a process like I explained to them.”
The minister said when the relevant committee headed by chair of pro-chancellors submits its report, it will be looked at in conjunction with the National Salaries and Wages Commission to make sure that the allowances so proposed do not run counter to government extant fixtures.
He said President Buhari was satisfied with his brief, stressing that the “2020 December agreement with ASUU is on course in terms of implementation.”
The minister added that N40 billion for earned allowances has been paid just as N30 billion for revitalisation as well as the sum of N22.7 billion paid from supplementary budget as also earned allowances for 2021.
On the most contentious of issues regarding the decision to use either the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS) or the University Transparency Accountability Solutions (UTAS), he said the committee saddled with the responsibility had been given four weeks to provide feedback.
He said the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) ran integrity and vulnerability tests on UTAS and concluded that it did not meet the requirements after pointing out areas of lapses, a verdict he added ASUU rejected as incorrect.
He said a joint technical team will meet to do the tests again for confirmation of the initial findings and necessary solutions.
“Again, we gave the committee four weeks to report back to us. So, you can see we are making progress,” the minister said.
Source:- Daily Trust