From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has disclosed that the federal government would pay N34 billion to lecturers as part of the ongoing payment of minimum wage consequential arrears from 2019.
Ngige made the disclosure while responding to questions from journalists at the 3rd National Productivity Summit held in Abuja on Tuesday.
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A statement by the Ministry’s Spokesperson Mr Olajide Oshundun quoted the Minister saying the beneficiaries of the settlement would include the members of the university based unions, their counterparts in the polytechnics as well as the Colleges of Education.
He brokedown the formula for sharing the funds as N23.5b for the universities, N6b for the polytechnics and the Colleges of Education N4b, totalling N34b.
Speaking further on the ASUU strike, Ngige said the committees set up during the last tripartite plus meeting of the government and university based unions were given a fortnight to turn in their report which is to be expected this weekend.
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“Those committees are working. The one on NITDA is testing the three platforms, the government’s Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) of ASUU and the Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (UPPPS) of the non teaching staff.
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“They started the testing last Thursday. The National Salaries, Wages and Incomes Commission (NSWIC) has issued their amendment circulars. The unions also have copies to take care of responsibility and hazard allowances wherever it has not been properly captured.
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Ngige assured that there may be likely wage adjustments as the government intensifies efforts to streamline wages through the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.
“We have done the police for example. It wasn’t envisaged that we should do it in pockets. But you can see that police has been done. You can also see university teachers saying that their own should be done immediately, since we have done police. So, something is being done. It was part of the 2009 negotiation they had with the government then. So, the committee of Prof. Briggs is on it, discussing with the university unions and their employer, the Federal Ministry of Education. They will bring up something for the government to see.
“There are other people. The doctors are complaining about brain drain, this and that. Their hazard allowance has to be touched and it was touched by close to 300 percent. From N5000 paid across board for each person, the least person in the health sector is getting N15000 while the big ones are getting N45000. So, that is the quantum leap.”
The Minister again, appealed to ASUU and other university based unions to suspend their strike so that academic activities can resume in public universities across the country.