Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has said that the Federal Government’s proposal to exempt members of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel
Information System is a temporary measure pending the conclusion of the integrity test on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution.
Ngige who clarified the position of the government team during Friday’s negotiation with ASUU said that it was not true that the government had abandoned IPPIS or that ASUU should not be on IPPIS
“I think it is better because a lot of people are quoting us out of context saying that we abandoned the IPPIS and that we said they should not be on IPPIS, it is not true.
“What we said in the meeting and what we agreed was that in the interim for the transition period that UTAS is being tested by NITDA and the Office of National Security Adviser for cybersecurity. For those transition periods, ASUU members that are not yet on IPPIS will be paid through the platform with which they were paid the President’s compassionate COVID-19 payment done to them between the months of February and June.
“That platform is a hybrid platform between IPPIS and MINPSI platform for the transition period. That was what was used, it’s a hybrid”.
He said the reason for reaching that position was because no government payment will be done without IPPIS knowing.
“So there is a handshake between IPPIS and MINSI platform and that was what was used in paying them for that period and so we are going to continue with that until UTAS undergoes all the integrity test and cybersecurity test and it is confirmed for use, ” he added.
On a new offer made to ASUU, the minister said that prior to the meeting of Friday, the government brought an aggregate offer of N50 billion to ASUU.
“The offer made was clear. You can understand it this way. Prior to the meeting yesterday, the Government brought an aggregate offer of N50 billion to ASUU. N20 billion for revitalization, to show good faith that the government is still with them on the issue of funding for revitalization and pending the affirmation of the new sources of funding public education. There is a committee on that and the committee is working on sourcing new education funds, it is a NEEDS committee.
“So pending that NEEDS committee affecting a new funding source and strategy, the government offered them N20 billion for revitalization, apart from the funds that are coming from TETFUNDS that is also used for revitalization. They refused the N20 billion and said that they wanted N110 billion and that N110 billion was 50 percent of a tranche of N220 billion. The government said they didn’t have that kind of money and then increased that N20 billion by N5 billion to become N25 billion and if it becomes N25 billion, the Earned Allowances will be raised to N40 billion immediate payment, making for a total of N65 billion for revitalization and Earned Allowances in the universities.
“Government then said alternatively, ASUU can opt for the revitalization to move up to N30 billion, while the Earned Allowances for all the unions in the universities will drop from N40 billion to N35 billion. That is the second basket offered them, either of the two. Either you choose N25 billion revitalization plus N40 billion Earned Allowances or revitalization of N30 billion and N35 billion Earned Allowances,” he said.