The Federal Government has given assurances that disbursement of the N30 billion revitalisation funds to public universities would soon commence. Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige who made this known at the end of a marathon conciliation meeting between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), said the six issues on the agenda were satisfactorily addressed by both parties.
While assuring the lecturers that Government was not dragging its feet on anything that would make the university system to be good, Ngige also disclosed that N22. 172 billion was provided in the 2021 Supplementary Budget for Earned Allowances to all workers in the universities, adding that the National Universities Commission have compartmentalised the payments based on the universities and the existing unions. According to him, the NUC and the Federal Ministry of Education did their assignment in terms of getting the universities to come and defend the various allocations given to them based on the needs in the universities.
He said, “A committee to monitor has also been sent up by NUC. We are happy about that and expect the disbursement of the revitilisation funds to commence very soon.” The minister further revealed that the report from the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA on the preferred payment platform of ASUU, known as the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) system was received at the meeting.
“We are also happy with the report they gave. We asked them to liaise with ASUU and NUC to work on this system for deployment by the users as soon as possible.” According to Ngige, the meeting looked at the promotion arrears and other outstanding payments of the university teachers and gave the timeline of the end of October for the issues to be resolved once and for all by the universities, to enable the affected persons enjoy the fruits of their promotion