By James, Michael Igiri
National body of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have
presented six new conditions for calling off their three-week old strike.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, yesterday
pleaded with the lecturers to embrace peace for the sake of innocent
students, while also hinting that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) will
on Wednesday discuss the conditions given by ASUU and chart the way
Contacted last night, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris
Ngige said: “They have brought some proposals different from the
demands we are already addressing. I want ASUU to toe the path of peace
for the sake of the innocent students in our universities.
“I am asking ASUU to know that this dispute is already apprehended by this
ministry. And when we apprehend a dispute, it is necessary for parties to
come for talks and consideration of issues.
“Going by Section 3 of the Labour Dispute law, any further discussion on
ASUU demands should be done with the Federal Ministry of Labour.”
The new conditions are that:
the Federal Government should immediately accept payment of shortfall in
salaries of universities;
universities to manage their IGR the way they like and exemption from
exemption of Endowment Funds, JV cash from TSA;
payment of University Salary Scale to teachers in primary schools in
release/implementation of guidelines for the retirement of Professors in line
with 2009 FG-ASUU Agreement; and
waiver/ government fiat to set up Nigerian Universities Pension
A source revealed that ASUU has brought proposals different from the
agreement they reached in the Senate with the Federal Ministry of
“They are asking the government to take over the shortfall in the salaries of
universities when there were glaring cases of abuse of recruitment process
and non-compliance with Integrated Personnel Payment Information
“They want the government to accept liability for the shortfall in spite of the
fact that universities acted arbitrarily in increasing their wage bill.
“The lecturers have also asked the government to manage their Internally
Generated Revenue (IGR) henceforth instead of remitting such to the
Treasury Single Account (TSA) in line with their demand for autonomy for
The Nation online news however revealed, the government does not want
to waive the TSA policy for universities. It, however, expressed readiness
to exempt Endowment Funds and Joint Ventures Funds from TSA.
“In their new demands, the lecturers asked for the issuance of a fiat to the
Pension Commission to register the Nigerian Universities Pension
“PENCOM has expressed its readiness to register Nigerian Universities
Pension Management Company, if ASUU and other stakeholders can
quickly address the lapses already highlighted in the registration process.
PENCOM is insisting that the guidelines in the 2005 Pension Reforms Act
must be fully complied with,” the source said.
The government is said to be shocked by ASUU’s fresh request that the
Federal Government should pay University Salary Scale to primary school
teachers in varsity staff schools.
It said: “They are saying that the staff school should be allowed to continue
to collect tuition fees.”
“The government has a different approach to the staff school. Apart from
retaining its policy that primary education is free under the Universal Basic
Education (UBE) Scheme, the government is of the opinion that teachers in
varsity schools be either paid by the Universal Basic Education
Commission(UBEC) or be placed under the salary scale of the Federal
Ministry of Education or Federal Salary Scale,” the senior government
“Another demand from ASUU is the release of the guidelines for the
retirement of professors in line with 2009 Agreement.”
Responding to a question, the source said: “We believe that ASUU is trying
to be difficult with the new conditions after the Minister of Education,
Mallam Adamu Adamu, had conceded N23billion to pay earned allowances
of the lecturers.