The meeting was convened as a follow up to the meeting held with the Senate Leadership led by Senate President on Tuesday 13th October, 2020, where theHonourable Minister of Labour and Employment committed to engaging ASUU and other stakeholders to iron out the outstanding issues.
2. The meeting deliberated exhaustively on the issues and concluded as follows:
i) Funding for Revitalizationof Public Universities:Government, in spite of the Economic downturn as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, brought an offer of N20 Billion (Twenty BillionNaira)payableby the end of January 2021and ASUU agreed to take the offer to its members for consideration and revert by Wednesday 21st October, 2020. The Minister of Education will follow up with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning on its earlier Memo to Mr President on sources of alternative funding for revitalization to facilitate the process of additional funding of the University system. This is with a view to reactivating the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of 2013 as agreed in the Memorandum of Action (MoA) of 2019
ii) Earned Academic Allowances(EAA):Respondingto the demand by ASUU for the payment of the two tranches which cumulated to 40 Billion Naira(Forty Billion naira) that has become over-due since November, 2019, the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) committed to release 30 Billion Naira (Thirty Billion Naira) on or before 6thNovember, 2020.The remaining 10 Billion Naira would be spread equally over the two tranches to be paid in May 2021 and February 2022 respectively.
The OAGF should quickly conclude the verification of figures of EAA claims so as to clean up the figures from 2014 to 2020. To this end, a Committee would be constituted by NUC to develop a template that would capture all the agreed allowances in the 2009 Agreement for all the Unions in the Universities. Thereafter,the OAGF and the National University Commission (NUC) are to quickly conclude the verification of the EAA figures, so as to defray the payment from 2014 to 2020.ASUU is to work with the OAGF and NUC to achieve that by the end of December 2020.The process of mainstreaming of the EAA into annual budget using the agreed formulashall be activated; NUC and Ministry of Education are to coordinate the activation process immediately and to be concluded by 6th November, 2020. The National Assembly (NASS) has agreed to implement this process of mainstreaming provided the amount involved is sent in as quickly as possible by the Ministry of Education
iii) Salary Shortfall:The ASUU will confirm and report at the next meeting.
iv) State Universities: It was agreed that the NUC Act would be amended in order to strengthen its regulatory capacity. It was agreed that ASUU will work with NUC on this and then involve the relevant Committee of NASS.
v) Payment of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) to Loyal ASUU Members at the University of Ilorin: This has been resolved.
vi) NUPEMCO: ASUU is satisfied and has accepted the progress made thus far.
vii). Visitation Panels: The meeting was informed that the Visitation panels to Federal Universities have been approved by Mr. President, but they have not been gazetted. The Federal Ministry of Education is to ensure gazeting within two weeks (29th October, 2020). The meeting agreed that the Panel willbe inaugurated latest by the end of November, 2020 and the Panel will have a 4 – 6 weeks mandate to finish its work by 31st December, 2020, and submit two reports per University covering 5 years periods of 2011 – 2015 and 2016 – 2020.
viii). Reconstitution of the Government Renegotiating Team: TheGovernment team revealed that the RenegotiatingTeam will be reconstituted on or before 31stOctober, 2020 and the renegotiation will be concluded on or before 31stDecember, 2020.
ix) The Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS): The meeting was informed that ASUU has met its timeline regarding the first stage of the initial demonstration of the efficacy of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) to Government as this was done on Wednesday, 14th October, 2020. The Meeting also agreed that if UTAS passes all the different stages of the integrity test which would involveNational Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)and the Office of the National Security Advisers (NSA) and after ascertaining its efficacy; it would be adopted for the payment of the University staff.
Meanwhile the meeting could NOT agree on how payment would be done for ASUU members during the transitional period of UTAS tests as the Government side again appealed to ASUU to enroll on IPPIS platform in view of the Presidential directive that all Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) employees should be paid via IPPIS. They can thereafter be migrated to UTAS whenever certified digitally efficient and effective with accompanying security coverage. The ASUU maintained that given ASUU’s invention of UTAS, it should be exempted from IPPIS in the transition period.
The issue of withheld salaries of ASUU members was discussed. The meeting agreed that Government will pay this money as soon as the mode of payment is agreed upon by both parties.
The meeting is to reconvene by Wednesday 21st, October, 2020 by 3.00pm after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting for ASUU to report back on the decision of her NEC, in order to facilitate the calling off their strike.