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ASUU Strike Continues As Lecturers’ Meeting With FG Ends In Deadlock

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The meeting between the federal government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Wednesday, November 4 has ended without a resolution.

ASUU in March declared an indefinite strike following the lecturers’ opposition to the federal government’s move to enforce the use of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

The strike action is also to compel the federal government to implement the agreements and resolutions reached in the 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement, as well as the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and the 2017 Memorandum of Action (MoU).

In order to resolve the issues that led to the strike, both parties have been holding meetings.

On Wednesday, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu and the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, Abubakar Rasheed, were absent from the meeting.

Speaking at the end of the meeting, the labour minister, Chris Ngige, said the government cannot pay the N110 billion ASUU is demanding for the revitalization of universities.

“There are three issues, revitalization fund where the government offered ASUU N20 billion as a sign of good faith based on the MoU they entered into in 2013 as a result of the renegotiation they had with the government in 2009,” he said.

Mr Ngige said the government is still committed to the revitalization of public universities.

“While we are giving them offers of some fund, this government is not against revitalization but this government says that because of dire economic situation, because of COVID-19, we cannot really pay the N110 billion which they are demanding for revitalization,” he said.

Other issues

Mr Ngige said the government offered N20 billion as revitalization fund. On Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), the government offered N30 billion to all the unions in the universities, making a total of N50 billion.

“ASUU is saying that the N30 billion should be for lecturers alone, irrespective of the fact that there are three other unions. So there is a little problem there. We don’t have any money to offer apart from this N30 billion,” he said

He said a third issue, which he described as the cardinal issue, is the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) versus IPPIS.

“Today ASUU submitted their document on UTAS for onward submission to National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). As you know last week, the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy had approved that NITDA gets their system (UTAS) and subject it to integrity test. This test should be conducted without fear or favour and as early as possible. So today they have submitted the document for onward transmission to NITDA,” he said.

“One other issue that has arisen is the issue of the transition period. How do you get the Earned Academic Allowances that is due to you or any other entitlement that the government wants to pay you? They want an exemption from IPPIS and the government side headed by the Accountant General of the Federation said that IPPIS is the only government-approved payment platform. So that is where were are for now,” he said.

Mr Ngige said the government team is going back to their principals and ‘’the union will receive via me the irreducible minimum of what the federal government has to offer.”

He said the federal government’s representatives in the conciliation meeting will reconvene on Friday to agree on the government’s final position.

“The government side will meet on Friday and after that, we will communicate ASUU and in communicating them, if there is a need for a meeting, a date will be fixed for it,” he said.

ASUU Speaks

In an earlier interview with newsmen, the ASUU president, Biodun Ogunyemi, said the union had five issues they were engaging the government on.

He said the issues include the revitalization fund based on 2013 negotiation of the 2009 agreement which has dragged for over 3 years, the constitution of visitation panel to all federal universities, payment of arrears of Earned Academic Allowance (EAA), proliferation of universities as well as governance issues in universities.

“Then the government promised to do something on the revitalization, we will give N20 billion in January 2021. Meanwhile, our members said on revitalization, the government should release half of one tranch which amounts to N110 billion as stipulated in the memorandum of understanding of 2013. That was where the schedule for the release of the revitalization fund was first spelt out that the government will release a total amount of N1.3 trillion,” he said.

He said the government only released the 2013 tranche which was N200 billion.

“After that, the government has only given N20 billion. So we are asking them for the balance of N1.1 trillion which we said they should give us the schedule of how they will pay to show an act of commitment, We said they should release half of one tranch which is N110 billion,” he said.

He said the federal government is owing the union N40 billion for earned allowances, saying ‘’the schedule of earned allowances has been worked out up till 2013.”

“The government is owing us two tranches of EAA which is N40 billion but the federal government said they will release N30 billion but it will be for all unions in the universities and our members rejected the offer. It cannot be for all categories of staff. We have separate negotiation and if you are saying it is for all categories of staff then you have to pay the total of N40 billion so that is where disagreement came from,” he said.

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Rakib Idris is a scientist, blogger, entrepreneur, web designer, socioeconomic and political commentator. He loves writing quality contents for readers and presenting to them happenings around the world promptly as they occur. Thank you for visiting pointloaded.com , •••• For Advert Placement Call/WhatsApp: 09054011337 or send an E-mail to info@pointloaded.com

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Education

Use SIWES To Be Self-reliant, FULafia V-C Advises Students

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The Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Lafia (FULafia), Professor Shehu Abdul Rahman, has admonished students embarking on the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) to see the scheme as an opportunity to become self-reliant.

Abdul Rahman advised them to, therefore, acquire skills that would help them in their future endeavours.

Abdul Rahman spoke at the 7th Edition of the Annual SIWES Orientation Programme for 2019/2020 batch.

The vice-chancellor, represented by the Head of Department of Economics, FULafia, Dr. Ilemona Adofu, appealed to all the students to adopt learning attitude with a view to making the scheme beneficial to themselves.

The vice-chancellor said that the scheme was an essential part of students academic programme which exposed them to demands and challenges of the work place, advising them to be diligent in their work so as “to become self-reliant when they graduate.”

While commending the SIWES Directorate for organising the programme, he enjoined the students to be good ambassadors of the University wherever they may go.

In his address, the Area Manager, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Nasarawa State Area Office, Engr. Garba Hassan, advised the students to be disciplined while expanding their horizons in learning.

Hassan commended the efforts of the University’s management in adequately preparing the students for the scheme, he encouraged the students to imbibe to show dedication, loyalty, punctuality and honesty during and after the programme.

Engr. Hassan told the students that the ITF would make their SIWES experience worthwhile.

Earlier in his address, the Director of SIWES, FULafia, Dr. Amos Idzi Ambo, said that the scheme was expected to help students bridge the gap between theory and practice, noting that “experience is lacking among youths today and SIWES is the only stimulant that can correct and propel national development in Nigeria”.

Amos charged the students to be good ambassadors of FULafia during the SIWES exercise.

Present at the event were the ITF Head of Training, Mr. Ismail Akanbi, Mrs. Offiongita E. Nkang of SIWES Directorate, FULafia, other staff of the University and students.

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JAMB: How To Register For 2021 UTME

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) on Saturday announced the commencement of registration of candidates for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry (DE) to tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

The decision came barely 48 hours after it had stopped the exercise over technical challenges of the National Identification Number (NIN).

But a terse statement issued by the spokesperson for JAMB, Dr Fabian Benjamin, said registration for the examination had now commenced in full swing as all the issues had been resolved.

How To Apply For The 2021 UTME:

1. VALID, FUNCTIONAL E-MAIL, PHONE NUMBER

It is important to get a valid and functional e-mail account. You also need an active phone number.  This is because you will need this for registration and to send and receive information from JAMB.

Your e-mail is also a form of identity for you.

To Get Jamb Profile Code for E-Pin purchase simply 
type NIN, leave a space & then type your NIN & send it to 55019.

To get Jamb Profile code for 2021 UTME & Direct Entry Registration, type NIN, leave a space & then type your NIN & send it to 55019.

A confirmation code of 10 characters will be received by the candidate on the same telephone number which will be used to procure the E-Pin.

In simple language, Type NIN, leave a space & type your NIN and send it to 55019 to get your Jamb Profile code at the rate of N50. Make sure you have enough airtime (at least N100) and confirm that your SIM Card can send and receive messages.

2. NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER

JAMB will be making use of the National Identification Number for registration this year.  Being a compulsory requirement, you will need it for your enrollment.

3. VISIT JAMB WEBSITE

After having your email address and NIN ready, you can proceed to the JAMB website.

When you get there, create a JAMB profile, preferably before purchasing the form.

4. CHECK JAMB iBass

After creating a profile, it is recommended that you check JAMB iBass to be sure of your eligibility to take this year’s examination. The information is provided on the official website of the exam body.

5. JAMB e-pin
After your eligibility has been confirmed, then you can proceed to purchase your 2021 JAMB e-pin for registration from banks, online (using ATM card) or other accredited outlets.

6. CBT CENTRE
Then, proceed to any accredited computer-based test centre with your personal details and your profile code.

READ ALSO: 2021 UTME: JAMB Announces Registration Date, Makes NIN Mandatory

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Education

FULafia To Commence Pharmaceutical Sciences – V-C

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Arrangements have been concluded by the Federal University of Lafia (FULafia) to establish the faculty of pharmaceutical sciences.

The faculty, when established and start to churn out pharmacists, would complement the growing needs for effective drugs and pharmacists in the country.

The Vice Chancellor of FULafia, Professor Shehu Abdul Rahman, stated so when the executive members of Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN), led by its President, Pharmacist Okpalaeke Nwora, visited to congratulate him on his recent appointment as the third vice-chancellor of FULafia.

Abdul Rahman, who was delighted by the visit, said that he was happy to meet with the PCN officials to workout modalities for the successful take-off of the pharmaceutical programme in FULafia.

The vice-chancellor told the PCN members that the Senate of the University had since approved the commencement of faculty of pharmaceutical sciences, pointing out that their input from the Pharmacists was considered crucial “so that we can start well.”

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria is a federal government agency, established by Act 91 of 1992, known as Cap P17 of 2004, Laws of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The council is responsible for the regulation of the practice of pharmacy in all aspects and ramifications.

Speaking earlier, the leader of the delegation, Pharmacist Okpalaeke Nwora, said that Nigeria, with more than 200 people, had only 22 accredited pharmacy schools, pointing out that “eight are in the North, the majority are in the South, and only two are in the North-central, with one in Jos and the other in Ilorin.”

He said that since the inception of pharmacy practice in Nigeria in 1927, the country was only able to licensed 27,000 pharmacists.

Currently, Nwora said that “we have only 60 indigenous pharmacists practicing in Nasarawa State.”

He said that the World Health Organisation’s index and recommended standard for pharmacy per patient ratio is 12 pharmacists to every 10 thousand patients, lamenting that Nasarawa State had less than two pharmacists to 10 thousand patients.

He pointed out that the commencement of pharmacy education in FULafia would benefit both the institution (PCN) and the state at large and bridge the manpower gap in the region.

Nwora prayed to God to enable Prof. Abdul Rahman to establish the faculty of pharmaceutical sciences in the University “so that his name will be echoed for many generations to come.

On his part, the Honourable Commissioner of Health, Nasarawa State, Hon. Pharm. Ahmed Baba Yahaya, assured the vice-chancellor of the Nasarawa state government’s support, noting that the government has already donated an edifice to house the FULafia Teaching Hospital, Lafia, as part of the preparation for commencement of operations of the college of medicine.

Other members of the PCN delegation who were at the event included Prof. Yakubu Ngwai; Dr. Jacob James, the Director Pharmaceutical Services, Nasarawa State Ministry of Health; Dr. Denis Kudu Ega, Chairman, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria; Dr. Danjuma Baba, Pharm. Emmanuel Anga; Pharm. Joshua Ghali, the Director, Pharmaceutical Services, Hospitals Management Board, Nasarawa State; Pharm. Christopher Ishaleku; Pharm. Augustine Luka; Pharm. Emmanuel Yona; Pharm. Mohammed Okonu; Pharm. Nuria Abene and Pharm. Hassana Mansur.

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