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Federal Government To Pay ASUU N30bn Before November 6

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The Academic Staff Uinion of Universities (ASUU) will be paid the sum of N30bn on or before November 6, 2020, as part of the pending Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) of University teachers.

This was one of the resolutions on the ongoing dialogue between the Federal Government and ASUU on Thursday.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said that Government has pledged to pay the sum of N40 billion.

He explained that out of that amount, N30 billion would be paid on or before 6th November, while the remaining N10 billion would be spread equally over two tranches to be paid on May 2021 and February 2022.

“The Government’s commitment to pay was in response to the demand by ASUU for the payment of two tranches of EAA which cumulate to N40 billion that has become overdue since November 2019.”

The minister said that though the Federal Government agreed to fulfil its financial obligations to ASUU members, particularly outstanding salaries and earned allowances, the parties could not agree on the mode of payment.

“The government’s side appealed to ASUU to enroll on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) platform in the meantime, and migrate back to the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) after its efficacy had been proven through the necessary integrity tests. The Union refused, insisting on being exempted from IPPIS.

“The meeting also agreed that if UTAS passes all the different stages of the integrity test, which would involve the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), and after ascertaining its efficacy, it would be adopted for the payment of the University staff.”

Dr Ngige further revealed that the government also offered to pay, by the end of January 2021, the sum of N20 billion as funding for the revitalization of public universities, as well as seek for sources of alternative and additional funding of the university system, among other conclusions.

Earlier, the Minister had expressed a belief that the series of recent meetings, including the one convened on Tuesday by the Senate President, and activities such as the integrity test on UTAS done on Wednesday, would all culminate in the resolution of the crisis.

“At the meeting with the Senate President, we agreed on a work plan to achieve full conciliation so that students would go back to school.

“With the work done so far, both at the meeting with the Senate President and at the test run of the UTAS done at the Accountant-General’s office on Wednesday, we believe we will be able to break the ice.”

He explained that UTAS was designed strictly for the University system and could only be applied there, emphasising that Government never said it would use it to replace IPPIS.

“The situation is that the University system developed and configured UTAS to accommodate the peculiarities of that system as it affects the academic and even the non-academic staff.”

The Minister added that the government’s condition for considering UTAS as a suitable payment system for the University has always been that it would necessarily undergo three stages of the integrity test.

He disclosed that the first leg of the test had been done on Wednesday, while the two remaining stages would be done subsequently.

Also speaking, the president of ASUU, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, appealed to Government to treat the matter as a national emergency, as the Education sector needed urgent intervention.

“Education is in serious crisis; university education in particular needs urgent intervention. Unless it gets that, it would be difficult to achieve the desired stability in the system.”

He commended the government’s efforts towards a speedy resolution of the crisis and hoped that the process, which parties to the dispute had embarked on, would ultimately lead to a satisfactory solution.

Present at the meeting were the Minister of State, Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, SAN; Executive Chairman, National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, Ekpo Nta; Permanent Secretary, Labour and Employment, Dr Yerima Peter Tarfa, among others.

The meeting will be continued on Wednesday, 21st October to enable the leadership to consult their organs on the conclusions reached at this last meeting.

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Buhari Vows To Increase Education Budget By 50% In Next 2 Years

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President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to increase the budget for the education sector by as much as 50 percent over the next two years.

In a document titled, Heads Of State Call To Action On Education Financing Ahead Of The Global Education Summit, signed as a form of commitment at the on-going Summit in London, United Kingdom, the President stated:

“We commit to progressively increase our annual domestic education expenditure by 50% over the next two years and up to 100% by 2025 beyond the 20% global benchmark.”

The Summit which is being co-hosted by the Prime Minister of UK Boris Johnson and the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta seeks to give opportunity for leaders to make 5-year pledges to support GPE’s work to help transform education systems in up to 90 countries and territories.

The full text of the declaration is reproduced below:

​“I join my brother, His Excellency, Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya to affirm our commitment to improve learning outcomes in our respective countries by ensuring equitable access to quality and inclusive education for all our citizens, with particular emphasis on the girl child.

“We fully endorse the call for more efficient use of resources and to significantly increase investment in education by strengthening institutions, promoting greater adoption of technology, building the capacities of our teachers and mobilizing additional financial resources through legal frameworks and deliberate intervention on a sustainable basis.

“In this regard, we commit to progressively increase our annual domestic education expenditure by 50% over the next two years and up to 100% by 2025 beyond the 20% global benchmark.

“Let us therefore raise our hands in solidarity to build a more secure and prosperous future for our children.”

President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR

Federal Republic of Nigeria

28th July, 2021

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President Buhari Jets To London For Global Educational Summit

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President Muhammadu Buhari will today Monday July 26, 2021, travel to the United Kingdom to participate in the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education (GPE) 2021-2025.

The Summit, which will be co-hosted by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, and the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, will bring together Heads of State and Government as well as stakeholders and youth leaders, and provide a platform for partners to chart a way forward towards transforming education systems in partner countries, through exchange of best practices.

It will also offer the opportunity for leaders to make 5-year pledges to support GPE’s work to help transform education systems in up to 90 countries and territories.

Deliberations at the Summit will focus on: The Power of Education –A Conversation between Global Champions; Transforming Education for Girls; Financing for Impact and Recovery and; What Now? Priorities for Transforming Education in the Coming Five Years, among others.

President Buhari will also hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

After the Summit, the President will spend a few days for an earlier scheduled medical check-up. He is due back by second week of August, 2021.

The President will be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of State Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) and Director General of National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

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Ufuoma To Rewrite All Exams After UNIBEN Management Concludes Probe

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Peace Ufuoma, the final year student of the University of Benin who was ordered to appear before a disciplinary committee by the school authority, for wearing a shirt that inferred she cheated during exams, has been ordered to rewrite all exams from 200 level.

Peace became a person of interest after she shared a video online celebrating the end of her final exams while wearing a shirt with the inscription ”aggressive malpractice brought me this far”.

Last week, the university management had ordered that all the results of the student be investigated. It has now been decided that Peace rewrites all her exams from 200 level to final year.

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