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Strike: 38 Universities Received N22.127 Billion Earned Allowances, FG


Strike: 38 Universities Received N22.127 Billion Earned Allowances, FG

The Nation

The Federal Government yesterday said it had released N22. 127 billion earned allowances of both academic and non-academic workers of universities to their respective institutions.

Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige, told The Nation in Abuja that 38 universities have so far received the sum on behalf of the unions.

The workers are under the aegis of the Academic Staff of Union Universities(ASUU), the Non-academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions (NASU), the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).

The N22.127 billion earned allowances had generated controversy because of the sharing formula adopted by the National Universities Commission(NUC).

Ngige said: “The revitalisation fund has been paid to the universities and by Thursday (last week) 38 universities have received money for earned allowances for both academic and non – academic staff.”

The minister also said the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the body working on the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) or the payroll system developed by university lecturers, has submitted its report.

He said the report of the technical test conducted on UTAS by NITDA was sent to the Federal ministries of Education and Finance, Office of the Accountant – General of the Federation, and ASUU for independent assessment.

Ngige also said a joint meeting would be held this week to evaluate the outcomes of the user and integrity test conducted on UTAS.

Ngige said about 500 line items in the payment platform were subjected to test, with the platform passing some and failing others.

His words: ”NITDA has also given me a report on their technical result of UTAS which I have communicated to ASUU for them to read, go through the report, make their own observations and we forward them back to NITDA. After that, we will then meet jointly this week.

“The one of NITDA came on Friday. Accountant – General’s office has gotten their report and education has gotten their report. The only thing they have to do now is to look at the report and come back with a quick review.

“NITDA tested about 500 line items; they are doing integrity and user tests. They have put up results in all of them. UTAS passed of the tests; they passed many of the tests and they didn’t pass some. That’s the report o received.

“I have sent my own to my ICT department to have a look same with education. We expect to get responses within the week.”

ASUU President Emmanuel Osodeke confirmed that some universities have started receiving the money.

“It is true for some universities that we have confirmed already,” he said.

Osodeke however stated that ASUU has yet to have access to the report.

He said: “We are not aware. We have not got any report from either NITDA or the minister on UTAS. I read it in the news, what I read was that the result has been referred to the ministry of finance and FMoE.

“I believe we should be the first person to get the report because we don’t trust NITDA. If it took our members three months to develop the program and it is now taking NITDA almost one year to do a test then something is wrong. I don’t think a test should take more than one month or six weeks.

“That it is taking them a year I am afraid something must have been wrong; I am sure they must have doctored that document so we need to see it because I don’t see how a body like ASUU will send a solution it developed to NITDA and it is taking them more than one year to do a test which means it is either they are up to something or they are inefficient.”

The ASUU leader also said the union would meet this week to evaluate the reports from its branches which will inform its decision on a fresh strike.

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