The sharing procedure for the just approved N22.127 billion for payment of Earned Allowances for university staff has struck conflict among the various university Unions in the nation as some have rejected the formula, labeling it as lopsided and biased.
Out of the amount approved, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is to take 75 percent of the total sum, while the other three Unions will share the remaining 25 percent among themselves.
The three unions are the Non-academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions (NASU), the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU,) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
In a statement issued on Wednesday by the SSANU President and General Secretary, NASU, Peters Adeyemi, on behalf of the leadership of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of NASU and SSANU, the Unions called for an immediate suspension of disbursement of the funds and reversal of the sharing formula.
They recalled that the same sharing formula had been applied to the N40 billion Earned Allowances previously released by FG for the four Universities where ASUU had also taken 75 percent of the amount of unions which had generated crisis in the university system.
The statement read “The attention of the leadership of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of NASU and SSANU has been drawn to a document in circulation showing Federal Government’s
approval disbursing the sum of N22.127b to members of the four University based
Unions namely: ASUU, NAAT, NASU and SSANU. Out of the total amount, ASUU was allocated 75%, while the three other Non-Teaching Unions were allocated only 25% to share with their members.
“This is the 3rd time this lopsided, skewed and unrealistic disbursement is being done to our members who are not only more in number but belonging to three different Unions in the universities across Nigeria.
“This brazen injustice is to say the least, appalling and inhumane. Members of the public could recall that JAC as a mature and responsible body was
prevailed upon through a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) agreed and signed between us and the FGN on 25th February, 2021 to suspend our last strike which we embarked upon in protest to the earlier lopsided disbursement of N30b to ASUU, while the three other Unions were given only N10b among other agitations after JAC embarked on strike on Friday, 5th February, 2021 and suspended the strike action on Thursday, 25 February 2021.
“JAC had during conciliatory meetings with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige alongside other Government officials insisted on the release of the findings of the forensic audit of the previous disbursements. This we believe if done, will clearly indicate the actual success or otherwise of the previous payments. However, till today, nothing of that nature was done.
“We want to state categorically that our members have been pushed to the wall and cannot continue to allow this injustice. We are currently discussing with our members across the nation and we cannot guarantee continuous industrial harmony in the public Universities and Inter-University Centres in Nigeria if and when this current disbursement is allowed to materialize. We are therefore urgently requesting for an immediate suspension of this vexatious disbursement and hereby implore the relevant Government agencies saddled with this important assignment to go back to the table and rework the template of disbursement with a view to coming up with a more realistic and acceptable allocation formula that will be fair to all members of staff in the University system.