By Our Reporter
In a latest stand-off with the federal Government, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has demanded that the outstanding arrears of its members be paid not later than July, 2017.
ASUU’s National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, stated this during a news conference at the University of Abuja on Wednesday.
Ogunyemi said that ASUU insisted on a framework for paying any part of the “Earned Academic Allowances” (EAA) arrears.
According to him, the Federal Government is owing academics in federal universities unpaid allowances of not less than N128 billion.
He explained that the executive arm of government initially insisted that there would be no further release of funds to the universities until there was a forensic audit.
“In view of this, the union rose from its NEC meeting at the Bayero University Kano observing that the particular issue of EAA cannot be meaningfully addressed unless within an agreed framework.
“Hence the National Executive Council (NEC) of ASUU resolved that all outstanding arrears of EAA should be paid not later than July 2017.
“The decision of ASUU-NEC on the issue of EAA has since been communicated to the Minister of Education, Senate President and the Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund,’’ he said.
The president also observed the non-release of the Operational Licensing of Nigerian Universities Pension Management Company (NUPEMCO).
Ogunyemi noted that the company had met the minimum requirements for registration as Pension Fund Administrator (PFA).
He said that the failure of PENCOM to release the operational license of NUPEMCO as a PFA had created the feeling of insecurity and loss of confidence among retirees in the system.
“The non-release of NUPEMCO’s operational license in an arm-twisting tactic to frustrate our members and forcefully get them enlisted into some Pension-Fund Administrators (PFAs).
“The PFA cartel appears determined to abort the process of NUPEMCO licensing which started more than four years ago.”
He, however, insisted that such was unacceptable to ASUU, saying “it is against the right to choice”.
The president noted that the 2013 MoU signed with the Federal Government on Funding for the Revitalisation of public universities had not been released as agreed.
“The MoU stipulates that N200 billion would be released in 2013 for massive injection of funds to reposition Nigerian public universities for global competition.
“Thereafter, N220 billion is to be released for subsequent five years, adding up to N1.3 trillion by 2018, not a single kobo has been released up till date.”