- A piece of news that would gladden the heart of Nigerian students is the latest move by the federal government in ending the ongoing ASUU strike
- This is as the federal government has announced that it would give out the sum of N34bn for the payment of minimum wage arrears
- Chris Ngige who made the disclosure on Tuesday noted that the payment is not meant for ASUU alone but would also include academic staff members of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education
The federal government has said it would pay about N34bn minimum wage consequential adjustments to education sector workers with effect from 2019, The Punch reports.
The beneficiaries include the members of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and their counterparts in the polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
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The minister of labour and employment, Senator Chris Ngige, made this disclosure on Tuesday, May 24, while responding to questions from labour correspondents in Abuja on the prolonged ASUU strike.
The union had embarked on strike over the non-implementation of various agreements signed by the Federal Government. The union leadership had said it would not call off the industrial action until its demands were met.
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Ngige explained the FG plan and the division of funds
But Ngige said the universities would get N23.5bn, polytechnics N6bn and the Colleges of Education N4bn, totalling about N34bn, Channels TV also confirmed.
Regarding the ASUU strike, the minister 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 reports which they were still working on.
He added that the reports of the committees were being expected this weekend.
“Those committees are working. The one on National Information Technology Development Agency is testing the three platforms-the government’s Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, the University Transparency Accountability Solution of ASUU and the Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll System of the non-teaching staff.
“They started the testing last Thursday. The National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission 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.”
Ngige assured that there might be wage adjustments as the government intensifies efforts to streamline wages through the NSIWC.
He appealed to ASUU and other unions to suspend their strike so that academic activities could resume in public universities across the country.
Ekiti State University reacts to ASUU strike action
Meanwhile, the Ekiti State University chapter of ASUU on Tuesday disowned the order given by the university authorities to students to resume for academic reasons.
The Head, Directorate of Information of EKSU, Bode Olofinmuagun, had in a statement on Monday, May 23, said:
“In the interest of the students, parents, guardians and indeed the society at large as well as the survival of the university, management decided to reopen the institution for normal academic activities with effect from Tuesday, May 24, 2022.”
My children also affected, minister of education Nwajiuba sympathises with ASUU over strike action
Nigeria's minister of education on behalf of the federal government had pleaded with the leadership of the ASUU to end the ongoing strike action.
Emeka Nwajiuba said that while the FG understands that the demands of ASUU are genuine, it also believes that a strike is not the best approach to resolving these issues.
According to the minister, the industrial action is affecting every citizen of the country in one way or the other including his family.
Over 10 million Nigerian girls not in school, UNICEF warns, adopts new initiatives
Currently, there are about 18.5 million out-of-school children in Nigeria, the United Nations Children's Fund has said.
The international agency said the figure is a sharp increase compared with the number of out-of-school children in the country in 2021.
According to UNICEF, 60 per cent of the population of children - which amounts to 1,100,000 children - are girls.