By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
THE Federal Government on Wednesday postponed the negotiation meeting earlier scheduled today with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
The postponement was contained in a message from Mr. Charles Akpan, Deputy Director, Ministry of Laboru and Employment.
According to the message, “The Meeting between ASUU and the Federal Government earlier scheduled for today (Wednesday) by 3pm has been postponed. Thank you for your understanding.”
ASUU has been on strike since March this year over the nonpayment of Earned Academic Allowances, non provision of revitalisation fund among others.
Recently the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige had announced that government had agreed to make available N70 billion for Earned Allowances which include other three University based unions and the revitalisation fund.
The Minister on Tuesday said that the Federal Government has kept its promises with the university teachers, adding that the government had faithfully complied with timeliness in the offer it made to the union.
“For instance, the Federal Government promised to constitute a Negotiation Committee for the 2009 Agreement and has fulfilled it with the last week’s inauguration of the committee that has Prof. Muzali as chairman.
“ The N40b Earned Academic Allowances/ Earned Allowances have also been processed just as the N30b revitalization Fund, bringing it to a total of N70b .
“ Likewise, the Visitation Panels for the Universities have been approved by the President but the panel cannot perform its responsibilities until the shut universities are re-opened.
“The gazzeting is also being rounded off at the Office of Attorney General of the Federation while the Ministry of Education is ready to inaugurate the various visitation panels.
“Similarly, Government agreed to pay salaries, allowances of Earned Academic Allowances/ Earned Allowances with a hybrid platform that is not hundred percent IPPIS as requested by ASUU while UTAS is undergoing usability and integrity test at National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) as demanded by ASUU.
“I therefore state without equivocation that every offer with timeline has been faithfully fulfilled as promised by government .”