N40bn allowance: ASUU, varsity workers differs on sharing formula

 N40bn allowance: ASUU, varsity workers differs on sharing formula
Members of the Non-Academic Staff Union and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities protesting the non-payment of minimum wage, welfare arrears, IPPIS and sharing formula of the N40bn Earned Allowance in Abuja on Tuesday.

Non-academic unions in universities and the Academic Staff  Union of Universities on Tuesday differed on the Federal Government’s N40bn earned allowance for the institutions’ workers.

While ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi,  in an interview with Journalists, justified the amount promised lecturers out of the N40bn, Non-academic unions described the Federal Government’s sharing formula as illogical and a divide and rule tactic.

The unions spoke as protests by Non-academic staff over the  Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System and the N40bn earned allowance rocked university towns across the country on Tuesday.

The Federal Government had, on December 22, as part of agreements reached with ASUU,    promised to release N40bn earned allowance to universities. The academic union had on December 24 suspended a strike, which it started on March 23.

But the non-academic unions, which kicked against the N30bn promised ASUU, said the sharing formula was 75 per cent (N30bn) for the lecturers and 25 per cent for other unions.

N75% promised ASUU will breed corruption – Union

The General Secretary of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, Mr Adeyemi Peters, in an interview with The PUNCH on Tuesday,  said the failure of the government to implement the recommendations of the forensic audit report on the earned allowance was the cause of the current crisis over the sharing formula.

Peters said the award of 75 per cent of the fund to ASUU was not based on any logic, noting that it would also breed corruption.

He explained that the audit report of consultants engaged by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation recommended the amount each university would earn as well the total amount that should be paid to the unions.

Peters said, “Since 2013, the government has been releasing money, but these releases have been done in a manner that ASUU gets a bigger chunk of what is released. So, the non-teaching staff said the government should conduct a forensic audit of what had been paid so far.

“It was agreed to by all the unions; and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation hired some consultants that carried out the forensic audit of what had been released, what had been paid and what was remaining.

“And what we said was that if the forensic report is out, the distribution of the money (N40billion) should be based on the outcome of the forensic report, which probably would have shown how much each staff member has received, and the outstanding and you can use that to determine scientifically the quantum of what each of the union gets, but the government abandoned the report and decided to now say the N40b should be shared 75 per cent to ASUU and 25 per cent to other unions.”

“We said no, that would contradict the idea of the forensic audit. What they are proposing is not based on any logic and it doesn’t portray transparency. That is why we are insisting on the use of the audit report to determine what would be paid to every staff member and what each union would get.”

The NASU secretary said his union did not have any issue with ASUU, but with government which he accused of awarding the sharing percentage randomly.

Peters noted, “What if what you owe them (ASUU) is below the percentage you give to them? We don’t have a problem with ASUU, but we have a problem with the government. The approach of the government is biased in the distribution and it will not guarantee industrial peace.”

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