Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige will today review the implementation of the Memorandum of Action (MoA) as approved by the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The minister’s action is to prevent another round of interruptions in academic activities in public varsities.
“I will find out from the Accountant-General’s office and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning tomorrow (today),” Dr. Ngige told The Nation last night.
Ngige’s move came as the stakeholders of the ASUU were locked in a meeting last night over reported failure of the Federal Government to implement its demands.
ASUU President Emmanuel Osodeke stated that the leadership of the union was in a long meeting to assess the implementation of the various interventions reached with the Federal Government.
Osodeke noted that only funds for the revitalisation of public universities have been partially released by the government, subsequent to the 21-day ultimatum given by the union.
The three-week ultimatum, issued on November 15, 2021, ends today.
The ASUU leader affirmed that part of the needs assessment funds have been released to the universities.
Speaking earlier on a Channels Television programme: Politics Today, he disclosed that the grievances of the university lecturers would be resolved in the next two weeks.
The minister promised the release of the N30 billion revitalisation fund and N22.1 billion Earned Allowances before the end of the ultimatum to the university lecturers.
An ASUU leader disclosed that the union will call a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting this week, subsequent to last night’s meeting to decide the next line of action.
The union leader said the government was “pushing ASUU to embark on another round of industrial action” with its “lackadaisical attitude towards its demands.”
Osodoke said: “Government has not done its part. Of all the issues, it is only one they have done half way. And this is the needs assessment (revitalisation funds) where they have released some money to the universities. But other issues they have not done.
“All our attempts to get in touch with them have all been rebuffed; no contact.
“All these will be discussed at our meeting and what we will do next will be decided at the end of the meeting.”
On November 15, ASUU gave a three-week ultimatum to implement its demands or risk a fresh closedown of public universities.
The union had blamed the government for not implementing the Memorandum of Action signed in December 2020, which led to the suspension of its nine month old strike last year.
Some of the demands of ASUU are: non release of N30 billion funds for the revitalisation of public universities, non-release of N22.1 billion earned academic allowances (EAA); non-payment of outstanding promotion arrears; lack of progress in the renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement; inconsistency in Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) payment; and slow pace in the deployment of University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS), among others.
When reached yesterday, the Ngige spoke of plans to take decisions that will avert another industrial action in public varsities.
“I know that they have done the revitalization.”