WorldStage Newsonline— Following the meeting between striking members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the federal government in Abuja on Monday, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said most of the demands by the union have been met, including the release of N15.4 billion for payment of salary shortfalls.
Speaking after the meeting, Ngige also disclosed that the Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Accountant- General has provided evidence that as at December 31, 2018 the Federal Government had remitted N15.4 billon to address the issue of salaries in tertiary institutions, especially in universities.
“Also on the issue of Earned Allowances in the universities system, they also showed us evidence that Mr. President has approved the N20 billion to be used to offset the outstanding arrears of the 2009 and 2012, audit verified earnings, in the university system.
“This money is being worked on, and will be released to ASUU as soon as the process is completed.
“ASUU has fulfilled its own side of the bargain in terms of NUPECO, which is the Pension Fund Administration company that ASUU has floated to take care of pension for people in the university system.
“The Pension regulator, the PENCOM, has asked certain positions to be fulfilled and they gave ASUU a temporary license, which has expired.
“ASUU has submitted all the documents and fulfilled all conditions needed to get their license.”
The minister also touched on the issue of university revitalisation which the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan entered into an agreement with the ASUU for revitalisation of 220 universities annually for the next 6 years.
“This is starting from 2009, this Government will look for resources for the funding.
“We have also offered ASUU some token to show good faith and that amount is known to them. Issue of visitation panel is also taken care of.
“These were major issues discussed and ASUU is supposed to take back the resolution of these meetings to their members, while we expect that they will get back to us by Thursday,” he said.
On its part, ASUU said the discussions at the meeting would be taken back to its people and the next course of action would be announced in due course.
ASUU has been on strike since 2018 over failure of the government to implement agreements reached with its members as well as general welfare of public universities in the country.