The Federal Government says it will clear the arrears on the consequential adjustment on minimum wage owed to members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, and Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, by October ending.
The Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, disclosed this at the end of a meeting between the Federal Government and the Joint Action Committee, JAC, of the two unions on Friday in Abuja.
Mr Ngige said this in a statement signed by Mr Charles Akpan, the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry.
The meeting was convened to examine the level of implementation of the memorandum of action it signed with the unions in February.
Ngige commended the unions for their understanding and maturity in cooperating with government to resolve their issues, emphasising that government did not take them for granted.
The minister said that the meeting was a continuation of an earlier one held on Feb. 25 at his instance, at which agreements were reached on various issues concerning members of the unions.
He said that the meeting agreed that the payment of the arrears be fast-tracked between now and the end of October, adding that arrears in salary and promotion had been captured in the 2021 Supplementary Budget.
Mr Ngige, however, noted that it was not government’s intention to owe that payment, but that the delay was caused by the difficulty in getting the actual number of people qualified for the arrears.
He said that a lot of people had joined the service from 2020 , while the period of the arrears spanned April 19 to Dec. 31, 2019.
On earned allowances by relevant organisations (universities, polytechnics, colleges of education), Mr Ngige said the JAC would update the National Universities Commission, NUC, on the outstanding amount owed its members, while the NUC was given two weeks to do the appropriate reconciliation.
The meeting agreed to correct the anomalies in the payment of hazard allowance caused by an error in printing, which had seen all members collecting the same sum of money across board, with no distinction between senior and junior.
The minister said regarding the Responsibility Allowance, where Heads of Unit were omitted, their employers had been given two weeks to rectify the anomalies to enable the affected people get the appropriate allowance due to them.
He also noted that on the issue of the Renegotiation of FGN/SSANU/NASU 2009 Agreement that the unions and NUC would agree on a date to meet, as the Secretariat of the Renegotiation Committee was ready.
Mr Ngige said on the issue of the Visitation Panels for Universities constituted by government that they had finished their work and would present their reports next week.
The minister said the meeting agreed that government should, as soon as possible, issue the appropriate White Paper for implementation.
Mr Ngige also said that the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation reported that out of 293 claims received, all had been processed with 273 paid and the 20 outstanding would be paid as soon as possible.
The minister disclosed that the meeting stepped down some issues billed for discussion due to the unavoidable absence of the relevant officers on the inconsistencies in IPPIS payments.
He also noted that others were update on reaching staff usurping headship of non-teaching units in clear violation of condition service and establishment procedures.
He said that the meeting was adjourned to the end of October, adding that meanwhile, all the complaints would continue to be handled administratively, as timelines had been put on some of the outstanding issues.
JAC spokesperson, Peters Adeyemi, who described the meeting as fruitful, however, said that the meeting with government would continue till the agreements were fully implemented.
He said that the meeting was essentially to take stock of the implementation of the agreements the unions signed with the Federal Government on Feb. 25.