Connect with us

News

ASUU confirms FG agrees to pay N30bn lecturers allowance

Published

on

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has said its discussions with the Federal Government have produced a positive result with the government agreeing to release N30 billion as a part payment of the earned academic allowances.

ASUU, which confirmed this on Friday in a tweet, however, did not disclose when it would call off its industrial action soon and return to lecture rooms.

But Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said at the end of a meeting between both parties on Friday in Abuja that ASUU agreed to take the offer to its members for consideration and get back to the government on October 21.

He said they had reached an agreement on the payment of N30bn by the end of January 2021 and the balance of N10bn paid in two tranches of May 2021 and February 2022.

In a terse message on its verified Twitter handle, ASUU stated, “Breaking: ASUU strike: FG agrees to pay N30bn earned allowance”.

The academic union had embarked on strike since March over unpaid allowances as well the government’s decision to enroll all lecturers on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

Ngige said, “In spite of the economic downturn as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, government has offered N20 billion payable by the end of January 2021.”

The minister also said, “The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) was committed to release N30 billion on or before Nov. 6. The remaining N10 billion 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 the EAA claims so as to clean up the figures from 2014 to 2020.

“To this end, a committee would be constituted by the 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.”

The minister said the process of mainstreaming the EAA into the annual budget using the agreed formula will be activated.

He  said the National Universities Commission (NUC) and ministry of education are to coordinate the activation process immediately and conclude the arrangements by November 6.

Ngige also said the National Assembly had agreed to implement the process of mainstreaming provided the amount involved is sent to parliament as quickly as possible by the ministry of education.

But both parties, however, failed to agree on how the payment would be made to ASUU members during the transitional period of University Transparency Account System (UTAS) tests.

He appealed to ASUU to enroll on IPPIS following the presidential directive that all government workers should be paid via new payment scheme.

News

Buhari to present 2023 budget proposal to NASS Friday

Published

on

President Muhammadu Buhari will present the 2023 Appropriations bill to a joint session of the National Assembly on Friday.

The appropriations bill will contain budget proposals for the 2023 fiscal year.

He made this known in a letter to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, which was read out at the start of plenary on Tuesday.

The formal budget presentation is scheduled for 10am

and it will be the last main budget Buhari will be presenting as he will leave office on 29 May 2023 when his second four year term will end.

The Federal Government is already proposing an aggregate expenditure of N19.76 trillion for the 2023 fiscal year with a budget deficit of about N12.41 trillion.

Some key assumptions in the proposal include an estimated oil benchmark of $70, crude oil production put at 1.69mbpd, exchange rate of N435.57/$ and inflation rate at 17.16 per cent.

The Federal Government pegged growth rate at 3.75 per cent because it believes that “Growth is expected to be moderated to 3.30% in 2024 before picking up to 3.46% in 2025.”

The Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, had disclosed that the federal government will borrow over N11 trillion and sell national assets to finance the budget deficit in 2023.

Continue Reading

Education

ASUU also corrupt, undermining govt investment – Buhari

Published

on

President Muhammadu Buhari has said a number of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are involved in corrupt practices.

He said the corruption in the universities and other institutions was undermining government’s funding and investment in education.

ASUU has been on strike since February 14 over increase in lecturers’ allowances and salaries as well as improved funding for the universities.

Buhari has appealed to the union to call off the strike but the lecturers have stood their ground.

The President on Tuesday while declaring open the Fourth National Summit on Diminishing Corruption organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Office of Secretary to Government of the Federation (OSGF) and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), said ASUU was no less complicit in the corruption in tertiary education.

He said corruption in the education sector had continued to undermine investments, while critics downplayed funding by focusing only on budgetary allocations, urging a more comprehensive re-evaluation of expenditure.

The President said, “This year’s summit will mirror how corruption undermines educational policies, investments and create an unfriendly learning environment for our youths.

“Incessant strikes especially by unions in the tertiary education often imply that government is grossly underfunding education, but I must say that corruption in the education system from basic level to the tertiary level has been undermining our investment in the sector and those who go on prolonged strikes on flimsy reasons are no less complicit.

“The 1999 Constitution places a premium on education by placing it on the Concurrent List, thereby laying the responsibilities of budgeting and underwriting qualitative education on both the Federal and State Governments.

“The total education budget for each year is therefore a reflection of both federal and state budgets and should be viewed as other financial commitments in their totality.

“The allocation to education in the federal budget should not be considered via allocation to the Federal Ministry of Education and also academic institutions alone, but should include allocation to the Universal Basic Education, transfers to TETFUND and refund from the Education Tax Pool Account to TETFUND.

“Corruption in the expenditure of internally generated revenue of tertiary institutions is a matter that has strangely not received the attention of stakeholders in tertiary education, including unions.

“I call on stakeholders to demand accountability in the administration of academic institutions and for unions to interrogate the bloated personnel and recurrent expenditure of their institutions. Let me also implore the Unions to work with the government to put faces and identities to names on the payroll.

“Due to declining resources, the government cannot bear the cost of funding education alone. I task our academics to attract endowments, research and other grants to universities, polytechnics and colleges of education similar to what obtains in other countries.”

Continue Reading

News

Seven police officers dismissed, 10 others demoted

Published

on

The Police Service Commission (PSC), on Tuesday, dismissed seven senior police officers over gross misconduct.

The commission also announced the demotion of 10 other officers through reduction in rank.

These decisions were taken during the continuation of the 15th plenary meeting of the commission.

The meeting is expected to end on Thursday, October 6, 2022, according to a report by The Trust.

Presided over by its acting chairman, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi, the meeting considered all the Pending Disciplinary Matters (PDM) before the commission.

The PDMs, which totalled 47, also treated some appeals from dismissed police officers.

Addressing newsmen shortly after the meeting in Abuja, the spokesman for the commission, Ikechukwu Ani, said, the dismissed officers include one CSP, one SP and five ASPs.

He said that one SP was retired in public interest, adding that the commission reduced the ranks of one CSP to SP, three SPs to DSP, and two DSPs to ASPs.

The commission further reduced the ranks of four ASPs to Inspectors.

10 senior police officers, including an ACP, a CSP, a SP and two DSPs were given the punishment of severe reprimand.

Five ASPs were also awarded the punishment of severe reprimand.

Thirteen officers received the punishment of reprimand; two are to receive letters of warning while four officers were exonerated.

Ani quoted Justice Ogunbiyi as saying the commission would henceforth give the desired attention to Pending Disciplinary Matters so that those found guilty are punished immediately while those found not guilty are cleared to continue with their career progression.

Justice Ogunbiyi called on police officers to ensure they operate within established rules and avoid taking laws into their hands.

The commission, she said, would continue to work to sustain a professional police force.

Continue Reading

Trending