The Federal Government has lamented that university students who should be in the classrooms have been “recruited” to join the ongoing #EndSARS protests.
It blamed the development on the industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said this at a reconciliation meeting between the government and ASUU officials on Thursday in Abuja.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Ngige said, “For the past one week, we have all been on our toes, we have been meeting and we pray that this meeting will yield good fruits.
“We don’t take pleasure to the fact that the children who are supposed to be in school are being recruited into the #EndSARS, #EndStrike, #EndSWAT campaigns.
“As much as possible, we will try to see how we can meet ourselves halfway, so that we can resolve this crisis to the benefits of all and the country at large.”
The minister said that FG has commenced the process of testing the University Transparency Accountability Solution platform created by ASUU.
He said that ASUU members have claimed that the platform will accommodate the peculiarities of the university systems and that the platform will involve three stages of tests to be concluded within the time frame the union gave the government.
“We have the preliminary report and the test-run on the UTAS, and we believe that with that, we will be able to get it right.
“Let me make it clear to members of the press, we never said UTAS will replace the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information as some are reporting.
“No! The UTAS developed by them is for the university systems and they feel that it captures the peculiarities that are configured to accommodate all the university systems, especially as it affects the professors and other teaching staff and even the non-academic staff.
“We, as government, feel we are going to put it up for tests – three stages of tests. We have done the first stage of test which is within the timeline of six months that ASUU promised.
“We are going to do other integrity tests — Alpha test, Beta test and the one they call roll-over and other whatever test. It is the technologists that know all those tests. But this is the round we are going on now,” he said.
On his part, ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, commended Senate President Ahmed Lawan, Ngige, amongst others for making the discussion possible between the concerned parties.
He said, “We are here with an open mind and at the same time, we need to put it on record that our members out there expect much from this meeting.
“Our members are ready and willing to go back to class because it is a matter of national interest. Just like every other person’s child is at home, our children are also at home.”
IPPIS Cannot Work Some Professors Received N8,000 As Salary- ASUU Maintains Position
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has insisted that there is no going back on its position on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System of the Federal Government.
ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, stressed that it was wrong to use the payment platform for university lecturers.
He blamed this for the alleged irregularities in the payment of salaries and allowances of lecturers, stressing that some academics received very poor remuneration in some cases.
“The issue of what we call amputated salary came into it because the IPPIS platform was not designed for the university system.
“So, the platform does not recognise negotiated agreements like we are talking about allowance – unacademic allowances, research journal, and other things,” the don said on Thursday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
He added, “In fact, there were professors that were paid like N8,000 in some months on our campuses. So, we don’t expect anything otherwise because that platform was not meant for the university system.”
The ASUU president stated that the IPPIS cannot work for the university system, especially in the area of taxation.
According to him, the government gave the lectures a one-line salary scale which means taxed are being deducted from allowances and that is not the case with those in the civil service.
Professor Ogunyemi argued that the programme was designed for the civil service, adding that lecturers were losing as much as 50 to 70 percent of their salaries.
Asked whether the lecturers are willing to return to classes despite the failure of ASUU and the government to reach a decisive conclusion, he said, “I believe our students and their parents would understand.”
“If we have lecturers that have not been paid for eight, nine months, how can we have that person putting in his or her best in a system?
“If people are going back to the universities and they will be paid less of their usual salary, how can we cope with that?” the ASUU president questioned.
Kano Will Cancel Third Term If Private Schools Don’t Reduce Fees – Commissioner
The Kano State Commissioner for Education, Muhammad Kiru, on Thursday, threatened to cancel the third term in the state if proprietors of private schools fail to reduce their school fees by at least 25 per cent before November 1, 2020
The Chief Public Relations Officer of the Ministry, Aliyu Yusuf, in a statement, said the state would be left with no other option than to cancel the third term of the 2019/2020 academic session if the proprietors fail to adhere to the directive of the state government in the statement, explained that the decision of the Ministry became necessary in view of the ongoing difficult economic situation, following the lockdown due to the menace of COVID -19 which affected both the socio-economic position of the general public.
Recall that the Kano State Government had directed the reopening of private and public schools from October 11, 2020, after over six months of closure due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.
According to the resumption schedule, the first three weeks would be used for the conduct of the second term examination, while the third term 2019/2020 academic session commences thereafter.
Lagos State Gov awards scholarship to kids of slain police officers
Police officers killed in the wake of the violence that trailed the #ENDSARS protests will not die in vain, Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has vowed.
He directed Lagos State Scholarship Board to award scholarship to their children up to the university level.
Twenty-nine Divisional Police Stations and 17 Police posts were razed by hoodlums disguising as protesters.
Also, six police officers were lynched, 36 critically injured while 71 police operational vehicles were torched.
Sanwo-Olu made the offer to take the bill of replacing the logistics lost by the police when he visited the Command Headquarters in Ikeja to boost morale of officers.
The Governor said the statutory duties of the Police could not be wished away because of the actions of a few bad eggs, noting the impact of the police officers’ absence on the roads was generally felt by residents.
He said the state must put the event of the past week behind it and move on to restore peace across the communities.
To achieve this, police officers, he said, must regain their confidence.
He said: “Commissioner of Police has come forward with a number of requests, which we will need to address to boost the morale of officers after the last week’s event.
“As your Governor, I have come here to take full responsibility for the loss you have suffered in terms of logistics. From tomorrow (Thursday), we will start implementing these requests.
“Through the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), we will be replacing the police operational vehicles burnt in the violence.
“We have bigger plans for all the police stations burnt down. We will look for the funds and build befitting stations that will set the standard of what police stations should be.
“The most important request is to offer scholarship to the children of officers that died. I have directed the Lagos State Scholarship Board under the Special Adviser on Education to immediately award scholarship to the children of the slain officers.”
Sanwo-Olu said his administration would also compensate family members of the officers killed in the violence and foot their funeral bills.
He said Lagos would also pick the hospital bills of those injured in the mayhem.
Police officers serving in Lagos are also to get life insurance, Sanwo-Olu added.
The Governor directed the Executive Secretary of LSSTF, Dr. Rasaq Balogun, to establish the modality with the police leadership in the State.
The Governor also approved the request to upgrade Police Cottage Hospital in Ikeja, directing the Commissioner for Health to inspect the facility for the required upgrade.
In addition to donating two 150KVa generating set to the police, Sanwo-Olu said the Command Headquarters would be connected to the State’s Independent Power Project (IPP) for constant power supply.
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