The Federal Government and the Joint Action Committee covering the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions have set up a committee to settle the controversy over the N40bn received allowances and accusations about the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.
This was agreed during a meeting on Tuesday between the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, SSANU National President, Mohammed Ibrahim and NASU General Secretary, Peters Adeyemi, in Abuja.
Speaking to journalists after the parley, Ngige said, “The deliberations were fruitful, government side responded to issues concerning IPPIS and what is being done to assist university workers, who have had some complaints in that direction, especially some of their allowances they said were chopped off by IPPIS system.
“We have put up a joint committee of the unions, members of government side from Ministry of Education, Salary, Wages and Income Commission, Office of Accountant-General and the National University Commission to work hand-in-hand to make sure that all the anomalies are treated and we do hope that it will be done to the satisfaction of everybody.”
The minister further noted that the government also set up a committee to formalise all the allowances that have been granted the unions in the university system, “so that we will have a kind of uniformity in the system as per allowances.”
On the issue of university autonomy being demanded by the unions, Ngige noted that the visitation panels were waiting for the university system to stabilise before the members can go there and audit both the administrative and financial system of the university for 10 years.
He stated that the unions asked to take back the agreements to their members for deliberations with a promise to report back for further discussions.
“They are to communicate to us the possible date for our next meeting in the next 48 hours so that we can get the government agencies needed for the meeting to prepare.”
But the NASU General Secretary said the issues had not been concluded.
He said, “We are favourably disposed to dialogue and after discussing with our members, we will come back and continue with the discussion. So far, nothing has been concluded. We don’t have the mandate to talk about suspending strike.”