The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called on the Federal Government to meet its demands without the conditionality of the IPPIS system.
This was disclosed in Abuja by Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, ASUU President, in a statement on Sunday evening and warned that the strike will continue if ASUU’s demands are not met.
In Sunday’s statement, ASUU said it is struggling to make sure youths return to schools and receive quality education.
“Our Union is struggling to ensure that the children of the poor, who cannot afford the prohibitive cost paid in private universities or do not have opportunities to study outside Nigeria, get quality education which is not priced beyond their reach.
“This will only happen when government adequately funds public universities and addresses the rot and decay in them. ASUU has shifted positions in some respects.
“For instance, our members have reduced their demand of one tranche N220bn of the outstanding revitalization fund by 50 per cent.
“The Union has also agreed that N30bn out of the so far verified arrears of N40bn of the Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) be paid to our members, while the balance of N10bn could be spread over the next two tranches. We were equally making steady progress on other issues,” Prof Ogunyemi said.
He added that the NUC presented the Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) to the Federal universities, which is in its final testing days with the NITDA. The system was developed by ASUU members unlike the World Bank funded IPPIS.
“Last Thursday, 5th November, 2020, the National Universities Commission (NUC) facilitated the presentation of UTAS to Vice-Chancellors and Bursars of federal universities. All questions raised at the four levels of presentation of UTAS were satisfactorily answered.
“With the full cooperation of the concerned agencies, the final test with NITDA could be completed as a matter of days and UTAS adopted in place of IPPIS in our universities.
“ASUU disagrees with government on the use of IPPIS during the so-called transition period. In practical terms, there is no transition period if government is sincere,” Prof Ogunyemi said.
ASUU claims the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has illegally seized deducted union due in the past 9 months and urges that the FG release all its dues without conditionality of IPPIS.
“But, in furtherance of the attack on ASUU, the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) has illegally seized all the deducted union check-off dues of our members in the last nine months.
“So, government should release all what is due to ASUU members and the union without the conditionality of IPPIS.
“That would enable us conclude on the outstanding five demands including revitalization, EAA, renegotiation of the 2009 Agreement, inauguration of the Visitation Panels.
“Others are proliferation of State universities and governance issues in them to pave way for the quick resolution of the lingering crisis.”
What you should know
Nairametrics reported last month that ASUU insisted there is no going back on its rejection of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) of the Federal Government, after it revealed some Lecturers only received N8000 a salary.
“In fact, there were Professors that were paid like N8,000 in some months on our campuses. So, we don’t expect anything otherwise because that platform was not meant for the university system,” Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi said.
ASUU also disclosed last month that they are waiting for the government to conduct an integrity test on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), a homegrown payment platform created by ASUU in place of the government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
ASUU said it will suspend the strike embarked upon on March 23, 2023, if the Federal Government pays their withheld salaries and completes the negotiations of what led to the strike. The union accused the government of trying to use hunger – a weapon of war, to suppress its members.
Nigeria’s inflation rate to moderate by first half of next year
The CBN has assured Nigerians that the country’s inflation rate will begin to moderate by the first half of 2021.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has said that Nigeria’s inflation rate which stood as high as 14.2% in October is expected to begin to moderate by the first half of next year.
This is as the Federal Government had introduced a number of measures to help stabilize the economy, increase productivity and ensure recovery from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
This disclosure was made by Emefiele during his presentation at the 55th Annual Bankers Dinner organized by the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Lagos on Friday.
The CBN Governor pointed out that inflationary pressure persisted during the year due to several factors which include disruption to global and domestic supply chains due to Covid-19, increase in the VAT rate, increase in petroleum prices, electricity price adjustments and farmer-herder clashes.
It also includes exchange rate adjustment and flooding that occurred in many parts of our farm belt areas.
Emefiele in his statement said, ‘’Inflation in October 2020 stood at 14.2%. we, however, expect inflation to begin to moderate by the first half of 2021 as efforts are being made to enable significant cultivation and production of key staple items during the dry season.’’
It can be recalled that at the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit, the Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, also said that the country is expected to exit from recession by the first quarter of 2021 with the Federal Government working towards reversing the declining economic trend in the country.
What you should know
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) had announced that the country had entered its second recession in 5 years in the third quarter of this year, as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell for the second consecutive quarter.
According to figures released by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), cumulative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first nine months of 2020, therefore, stood at -2.48%, just as it recorded a -6.10% in the second quarter.
ASUU says union has not yet agreed to call off strike
ASUU has denied media reports that the union agreed to call off its 8-month old strike action.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has denied media reports that the union agreed to call off its 8-month old strike action.
There was a bit of relief when news emerged that the strike action has been called off, after the latest meeting between ASUU top echelons and the Federal Government negotiation team, led by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, on Friday.
According to a report from Vanguard, the ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, said he is not aware of any agreement to call off the strike. However, he noted that it was agreed at the meeting that the union would convey government’s message to their various organs and then report back to the government.
Ogunyemi said, “I am not aware of that. All I know is that we had a meeting and we are going to report to our members. But, I don’t know about suspension of the strike.”
It was also reported that ASUU reached an agreement with the Federal Government after the latter increased its offer for Earned Allowances and funding for the revitalization of public universities from N65 billion to N70 billion.
However, ASUU in a tweet insisted that the funding should be implemented before the union suspends its strike action.
#GoodNews The Academic Staff Union Of Universities ASUU, has accepted a newly pledged amount N70 billion to be released by the FG.
The union however insisted that the funding should be implemented before the strike would be suspended.
— Official_ASUU (@ASUUNGR) November 28, 2020
What you should know
Nairametrics earlier reported that ASUU had called off its 8-month-long strike. It said that the union took the decision after it agreed to accept government’s total payment of N70 billion and that the payment of their outstanding salaries must not be done through the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System (IPPIS).
ASUU embarked on strike in March 2020, following its disagreement with the Federal Government over the funding of the universities and implementation of the IPPIS, which according to the union, negates the autonomy policy for the universities.
ASUU, however, has its own developed and preferred payment platform, University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), which the government said it is looking into.
Export of our products in West African sub-region now less competitive – MAN
President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has lamented the less competitive nature of made-in-Nigeria products.
The export of made-in-Nigeria products in the West African sub-region has become less competitive according to the President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mansur Ahmed. He made this remark in a statement seen by Nairametrics.
According to Ahmed, MAN members are losing market share daily to other African countries due to the closure of the border, as the sub-region has now become less competitive.
“Major manufacturers of beverages, polypropylene bags, tobacco, cement, toiletries, and cosmetics industries were losing markets they had worked very hard to secure in the West and Central African region.
“These manufacturers were hoping to leverage their market share to secure a strong position in the African Continental Free Trade Area, which kicks off in January 2021.
“Since the closure, the association has conducted a research with its members, the outcome is that some sectors had considerable increase in their productivity, while some sectors recorded sharp decline.”
He emphasized that the export group of the association clearly suffered huge losses due to logistics issues occasioned by the closure, as it takes an average of 8 weeks for the carriers to ship and truck goods within countries in the same region vis-à-vis trucking through the land border, which takes an average of 7 to 10 days.
“The increased traffic through our seaport as a result of the closure has increased the perennial congestion at the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports, leading to greater challenges for exporters and increased demurrage cost, as well as other port levies,” he added.
What it means
Nigeria’s President Buhari recently signed the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement exposing local Nigerian manufacturers to the regional competition.
- Whilst border closures impact positively on local markets due to restrictions on imports, it is unhealthy for local businesses looking to export across borders to regional African countries.
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