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N40bn earned allowance: NASU threatens industrial action if…  

Umah Muhammed
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The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), has warned the Federal Government that if its members in the universities are shortchanged in the next release of the earned allowance, it will embark on appropriate and legitimate trade union action.

It also threatened to call out her members for a full-blown strike in the universities, inter-university centres, polytechnics and colleges of education anytime if the government fails to address all challenges in the sector.

The Federal Government has promised to release N40 billion for the earned allowance of all the university-based unions – NASU, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), National Association of Academic Technology (NAAT), who are all non-teaching staff and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

However, speaking at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of NASU, in Abuja, on Wednesday, President of the Union, Comrade Makolo Hassan, lamented that the Federal Government have been releasing a token to the non-teaching staff to share since 2012 while it has ceded a large sum to ASUU.

The NASU president said: “One of the most contentious issues in the universities and inter-university centres today is the payment of outstanding earned allowance to the staff of the universities inter-university centres. We are not unmindful of the fact that what the Federal Government has been doing since 2012 is to release a token to the non-teaching staff to share from what they have ceded to another group within the system.

“However, we like to caution that this time around, if in the next release of the earned allowance, our members are shortchanged as it was in 2017 and 2018, we will have no choice than to embark on appropriate legitimate action which will guarantee fairness, justice and equity in the sharing of whatever is allocated as earned allowance.”

Comrade Makolo has issued a 14-day ultimatum for government to speed up the payment mode 12 months arrears or face and industrial action.

It is no longer news that NASU and some other unions in our tertiary institutions migrated to IPPIS platform in February 2020. This was done after series of meetings between the office of the Accountant General of the Federation, the National Universities Commission (NUC), the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) and the unions.

“However the government has failed to live up to its promise of a hitch-free migration. The IPPIS has demonstrated a high level of incompetency and inefficiency.

Our experience since we migrated to the platform has been a painful one and all our efforts to get Government and the office of the Accountant General of the Federation to redress the noticeable shortcomings have not yielded a positive result.

“Some of the shortcomings are non-payment of salaries to some staff, underpayment of salaries, non-payment of approved allowances as contained in 2009 FGN/NASU agreement, failure to pay check-off dues to the union as at when due and non-payment of promotion arrears.

“Others are non-deduction of welfare scheme, high taxation, non-release payslips to workers, delay in payment of salaries and non-release of the schedule of payments made and others.

“Unfortunately, all that we have done including a 14-day warning strike and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with the government on October 20, 2020, where the Director of IPPIS was directed to ensure that all these anomalies are corrected within two weeks and a special committee headed by the chairman of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission was set up, to deal with the issues of unpaid allowances to our members have failed to yield the desired result.

“In the face of these challenges and lukewarm attitude of the Federal Government and the IPPIS office towards redressing these shortcomings, NASU may have no choice than to embark, as soon as possible, on a full-blown strike in the universities and inter-university centres, polytechnics and colleges of education, except something is done very urgently to positively remedy the situation.”

On the issue of insecurity in the country, Comrade Makolo while condemning the slate of killings across Nigeria, blamed the situation on the neglect of equitable distribution of state resources, exploitation of the masses, marginalisation, oppression, victimization as well as nepotism in public administration.

Source: NIGERIAN Tribune

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