The Federal Government on Friday offered leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities N65 billion for Earned Academic Allowance and revitalisation.
The government also agreed to pay the striking lecturers through the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System) until ASUU’s University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) was ready for usage.
These are some of the agreements reached at the resumed meeting between the leadership of ASUU and the federal government team on Friday.
At the end of the seven- hour meeting, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige told reporters that the Accountant-General of the Federation ( AGF) has offered to release N40 billion or in the alternative, N35 billion to be shared by all the registered Trade Unions in the universities after providing necessary evidence of having earned the allowance.
“The FG reiterated that her offer of N40 billion or 35 billion whichever is accepted by ASUU was for all the universities unions: ASUU had proposed that N40 billion be paid immediately for all unions ,” the Minister said.
Ngige said all vice-chancellors are to submit details of the EAA/EA to the National Universities Commission (NUC) on or before November 30.
Speaking on the issue of withheld salaries, Ngige said the Federal Ministry of Labour and Federal Ministry of Education will review the issue of “no work, no pay” as stipulated in Section 43 of the Trade Disputes Act Cap T8 laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004 with a view to getting approval for the withheld salaries to be paid.
The Sultan of Sokoto and President of the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, has described the North as the worst region to live in Nigeria.
The monarch said this at the 4th Quarter Meeting of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) in Abuja on Thursday November 26.
On scrapping of controversial police unit SARS, the Sultan said;
“We must obey all laws, if we are not law abiding. We have heard people calling for the scrapping of SARS, the President has done that and we later said, bring police back. We cannot do without the Police; we cannot do without our security agencies. No matter bad the security agencies are, there are still excellent officers.
“What we need to do is to fish out the bad elements from the security agencies and to reform the agencies and have a better. Abusing the Police, abusing soldiers, abusing security agencies would not augur well for us because, by the time we drag into anarchy, everybody would be on its, and then there would be serious problem in the country.
“We have security problems in the country, bandits now go into people’s houses to kidnap, not on the highway anymore. Of recent in the last couple of days, they are going into institutions, in Zaria; ABU, the Polytechnic and took away people.”
The Sokoto monarch also narrated some of the security challenges some residents of the Northern region have been facing.
“The insecurity in the north is so high that people are even afraid of travelling from Funtua to Zaria, a journey of about 48 or 50 miles. Not to talk of Sokoto to Abuja or to Kano.
“We know what we are going through. We are so insecure in the north that people are losing hope. People keep things in the house so that when the bandits come, they would let them be free.
“Couple of weeks ago, 76 people were killed in Sokoto by bandits in a day, it is not a story because I went there with the governor in Eastern part of Sokoto but you don’t hear these stories because it happened in the North and we don’t have media that is strong enough to bring out these atrocities about the bandits so people think that the North is secure.
“No north is not secure at all. In fact, it is the worst place to be in this country because bandits go about in the villages with their AK47 and nobody talks to them. They stop at the markets and buy things and even collect change with their weapons.”
On the rising cost of living, Abubakar said;
“Food prizes are on the increase and we need to do something about it. The cost of onion is too high and beyond the reach of many people. A hungry man is an angry man. The rising cost of foodstuff in the markets is an issue. The amount an onion costs in Nigeria today is an insight into the current economic hardship in the country.
“I think we really need to sit down and look at these issues because a hungry man is an angry man. We do not lack recommendations and solutions to our problems. What we lack is implementation and that sense of purpose to do the right thing, but we don’t like doing the right thing, we always want to cut corners.”