The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has disclosed that the Federal Government has begun the payment of salary arrears of the striking university teachers.

Nevertheless, the lecturers, under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) insisted that the Federal Government must remit N200 billion into the universities’ revitalisation fund before the ongoing strike can be suspended.

ASUU leaders, who came to the negotiation table with a former president of the union, Prof. Assisi Asobie and President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Abuba Wabba, explained that the payment of their salary arrears without getting a commitment to the payment of the N200 billion for the rehabilitation of the universities would portray the union as being only concerned with the welfare of its members and not the general improvement of the teaching conditions in the institutions.

Issues in contention include the registration of Nigerian Universities Pension Management Company (NUPEMCO); fractionalization of salaries in federal universities and gross under-funding/non-funding of state universities and arrears and the implementation of earned academic allowance; and the non-release of funds for the revitalization of public universities as spelt out in the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding.

Other issues are guidelines for the retirement benefits of professors in line with the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement: Treasury Single Account (TSA) and withdrawal of support for universities’ staff primary schools.

Similarly, the members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) may call off their ongoing industrial action today after an emergency congress meeting.

The insistence of the doctors to have the evidence of the implementation of the agreement reached with them last Thursday was responsible for the 10-hour marathon meeting that ended yesterday morning.

The Guardian learnt that the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) insisted that the Federal Government should provide the evidence of implementation to avoid the situation that the academic and non-academic staff unions of universities found themselves.

Read more on The Guardian


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