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Varsity strike may continue as non-academic unions reject FG-ASUU deal

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  • Protest N40bn earned allowances sharing formula

The expectation of academic activities resuming at the Nigerian public universities after Wednesday’s suspension of the protracted strike by lecturers may not materialise as three non-academic unions have kicked against the N40bn earned academic allowance deal sealed by the Federal Government and the lecturers’ union.

The three unions, the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, (SSANU); Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), said they would not resume in January when universities reopen unless the Federal Government corrected the “imbalance.”

They accused the government of allocating about 75 per cent of the N40 billion EAA to members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, leaving members of the three other unions with only 25 per cent.

National President of NAAT Ibeji Nwokomma said anyone thinking that the non-teaching staff unions in the universities would resume with the recent development was day-dreaming

He said the discrepancy in the sharing of the N40bn contradicted the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Federal government and NAAT on November 18 during a conciliatory meeting called by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Nwokoma said, “My union is rejecting the sharing formula of the earned allowances as it is being done by the government.

“Government has allocated 75 per cent to ASUU and 25 per cent to all other non-teaching unions in the universities. This is grossly inadequate.

“That is robbing Peter to pay Paul and using divide and rule in the university system. No union, not even ASUU, has the monopoly of opening or closing of schools through strike. Other unions also have that capacity to ensure that the system does not work.

“Secondly, my union, ASUU and other unions negotiated with the government, so, payment of Earned Allowances will be based on unions, it should be on the basis of the 2009 agreement; that is where the Earned Allowances is derived from. Lumping my union with other non-teaching staff is totally unacceptable to us.

“We have an MoU with the government just signed on November 15, which says that government should clearly define what should go to each union and government agreed that it was going to do that and today they just shared the money anyhow without adhering to the MoU.

“My union is asking that our own Earned Allowances should be specified, whatever it is should be specified just like they did to ASUU. If nothing is done, we will close down the system until we are fairly treated.”

National President of SSANU, Haruna Ibrahim, said his union would not take the lopsided sharing formula.

He said, “I believe that this remains a rumour even though I know it could be true. I have seen 75 per cent and 25 per cent.

“We have stated in no uncertain terms that we will not take this kind of lopsided allocations again because what is the scientific measurement used to give this money. We have stated before now that the least we can take is 50-50; they are not more in numbers.

“If they give for example 60-40, do you think the noise will be there? Government does not want peace if it is giving 75 per cent to only one union and giving 25 per cent to three unions. Does it make sense?”

“Certainly, my members are more than willing to down tools if this becomes a reality.”

The Federal Government has agreed to pay all withheld salaries of the ASUU members who had not enrolled in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) between December to January, 2021.

The government, through the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation also agreed to release the N40bn as the EAA by end of this month.

It offered to release N30bn for revitalization of the universities as part of one tranche of N220bn on or before January 31, 2021 as a sign of commitment to the MoU it signed in 2013.

The government said the withheld salaries would be paid in instalment because of “special management of funds.”

It also agreed that all members of ASUU who had been omitted from payment between February and June and from June to December should be paid their salaries as soon as their respective universities updated their lists. The list includes those on sabbatical leave.

According to the federal government, payment of check off dues of ASUU will start by next week.

These are some of the agreements reached between the leadership of ASUU and the government team led by Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, at a meeting on Tuesday.

Education

Half-Salary: UniMaid Lecturers Threaten To Withhold Students’ Results

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UniMaid

Lecturers at the University of Maiduguri (UniMaid) have said they will not submit examination results or release the final results of students until the federal government resolves the issue of pro-rata payment of salary and nonpayment of their 8 months’ salaries.

The Unimaid Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) branch Chairman, Dr Abubakar Mshelia Saidu, announced this at a press conference in Maiduguri on Tuesday.

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Daily Trust recalls that the university had commenced examinations for students for the 2020/2022 session following the suspension of the strike by ASUU.

Saidu said, “Members of ASUU will not mark athe current examination scripts; they will also not submit the results of both the first and second semesters of the 2020/2021 academic session.

“There will be no computation of academic status by coordinators of parts 1-4, 5 or 6, as applicable.

“Government said ‘no-work, no-pay; we say ‘no-pay, no-work.”

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Kwara gov Abdulrazaq, NBA, others mourn KWASU VC Akanbi who died at 51

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Eminent Nigerians and groups including the Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq and the Nigerian Bar Association have commiserated with the Kwara State University (KWASU), Malete, over the death of the institution’s vice chancellor, Prof Muhammed Mustapha Akanbi (SAN).

Akanbi died at the age of 51.
A statement from the university’s social media on Sunday night said the VC died in Lagos after a protracted illness.
“The sad event took place after a protracted illness. We urge all to remember the immediate and extended family and the University in prayers in this very trying time,” the post said.
Also in a condolence message by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Kwara governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, described as painful and shocking the death of Prof. Akanbi.
“We submit to the decree of Allah who gives and takes. It is against that backdrop that we mourn the vice chancellor who answered Allah’s call tonight. He was a true and humble servant of Allah and we beseech our God, the oft-forgiving and merciful, to grant him al-jannah Firdaus.
“The professor of law was a colossus who played the leading role to open a new chapter of academic excellence and greatness for KWASU. Our condolences go to his family, immediate and extended, to KWASU and the rest of the academic community, and to members of the bar and the bench in Kwara State and across the country,” the statement added.
Similarly, the Emir of Ilorin and chairman Kwara State Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, expressed sadness over the incident, adding that it was “quite shocking, unfortunate and saddening.”
The Publicity Secretary of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ilorin, Ridwan Musa, said “The Janāzah prayer will be offered on his remains immediately after Salatul-‘Asr at his residence in Ilorin, on Monday.
Late Mohammed Mustapha Akanbi became a professor at the age of 40 years and was appointed as Vice Chancellor at 49.
The KWASU Registrar, Mrs Kikelomo Salle, in a statement issued in Ilorin Sunday said, “Burial arrangement will be announced soon.”
Prof. Akanbi was born to the family of late Hon. Justice Muhammed Mustapha Adebayo Ajao Akanbi and late Hajia Munfaatu Aduke Akanbi.
He hails from the Ile magaji Kemberi, Awodi, Gambari Quarters, Ilorin East, Kwara State.
He attended various primary and secondary schools across the country i.e Kano, Port Harcourt, Ibadan and Okigwe in Imo State. Prof Akanbi graduated from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife with a Bachelor’s degree in law in the second class division in 1993.
Akanbi attended the Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island Lagos, where he also bagged the second class upper division. He was called to bar in 1995.
During his service year in 1995 – 1996, Akanbi served the nation as a legal assistant in the legal unit of the Central Bank of Nigeria in Lagos.
Between March 1996 and 1998, he practised as a junior in the law firms of Wole Bamgbala & Co, Lagos, Olawoyin and Olawoyin, Lagos and Ayodele, ‘Gafar & Co, Ilorin respectively.
Prof Akanbi bagged a master’s degree in law (LLM) in 1998 from University of Lagos, Akoka. Between 2004 and 2006, he attended the prestigious Kings College, University of London, United Kingdom for his doctorate degree in law (Ph.D) which he bagged in a record time of two years.
During his doctorate programme, Akanbi also earned a Graduate Certificate (Non-award Route) in Academic Practice (GCAP), from the same university in 2005.
In August 1998, Akanbi joined the service of University of Ilorin as a lecturer 2 in the Department of Business law, faculty of law of the University. By dint of hard work and perseverance, he rose through the ranks and was appointed a Professor of Law in the Department of Business Law in October 2012.
In 2014, he was also appointed an adjunct professor of law at the Kings University College, Accra, Ghana for a period of one year.
In over two decades career period in the University of Ilorin, Akanbi had held several administrative positions, chief of which were: Sub-dean of the faculty of law, Head of Business Law Department, Faculty of Law, Postgraduate Representative, Senate member, Dean of the Faculty of Law, Deputy Director, Centre for Research Development and In-House Training (CREDIT) and Director, School of Preliminary Studies, Fufu, University of Ilorin.
Akanbi has over 60 national and International publications in reputable peer-review journals with a bias in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Arbitration Law.
Other research areas include conflict resolution laws, corporate management law and practice.
In 2017, Akanbi completed a BADEA-UNITAR Online Course on Private Sector Development (2017) with specialisation on Ease of Doing Business in Africa and was awarded a Certificate of Completion by Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa and United Nations Institute for Training and Research (BADEA-UNITAR).
Akanbi has a number of cutting-edge and trans-disciplinary research projects and consultancy to his credit, some of which include: Lead researcher (2016- 2017), ‘Developing Interventions: Understanding Prosecutors’ Routine and Pretrial Practices’. (A research project involving 6 countries: USA, Mexico, South Africa, Ukraine, Poland and Nigeria) commissioned by the Open Society Justice Initiatives, New York.

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ASUU members received their rightful salary in October – FG

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Minister of Education,  Mallam Adamu Adamu

The Federal Government has said members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU received their rightful salary in October, which was paid in pro-rata basis.

The Minister of Education,  Mallam Adamu Adamu, stated this while briefing correspondents at the end of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Federal Government also denied the allegation that it has indirectly made Nigerian lecturers causual workers by paying them half salary in October, saying that nobody can make them casual staff.

Recall that the, called off the eight month strike it embarked on February 14 this year on October 14 and was paid the October salary based on the number of days they worked.

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ASUU called off the strike as a result of the judgment by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, NICN, that ordered the union to go back to work before it could entartain its pending case.

Angered by the payment of half salary, ASUU has embarked on protest in different universities to express their dissatisfaction with the government decision not to pay them full in October.

But despite protestations from ASUU over pro-rata October salary payment, the federal government on Wednesday insisted that the lecturers were paid what was due them

The government also insisted that the lecturers would not be paid for work not done.

Responding to the allegation made by the President of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodoke, suggesting that paying the lecturers on pro-rata basis was a ploy to make them casual workers, the Minister remarked that government has no such plan.

“Nobody can make University lecturers casual workers,” he said.

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