Two weeks after the federal government promised to pay N22.1 billion Earned Academic Allowances to workers in federal universities, the pledge has not been fulfilled, Vanguard investigation has revealed.
This is just as the staff unions in the university system are poised to meet later this week to decide on the next line of action.
The unions are the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions, NASU, and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT.
Speaking in a chat with Vanguard’s correspondent yesterday, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, confirmed that the union was yet to receive any money from the government.
“We have not got any money from the government as we speak. The promise has not been fulfilled. We are going to meet later in the week to appraise the situation,” he said.
On the eyebrow raised by other unions regarding the sharing formula for the money, Osodeke noted that his union had no grouse with any other union and that any union not satisfied with whatever it is given should know the appropriate quarters to approach.
On his part, the National President of SSANU, Comrade Mohammed Ibrahim, also confirmed that no money has been paid to them by the government.
“We have not received any money and we still stand by our position that the allowance should be paid to the universities who are the employers of the workers. The money should not be paid to the unions. The universities know who their workers are.
“We are also insisting that the sharing formula is unacceptable to us. We also want the result of the forensic audit done in all the universities after the second tranche of the allowance was paid to be made public. We know what we are saying, ASUU members were overpaid,” he stated.
Ibrahim also said the Joint Action Committee, JAC, set up by SSANU and NASU, to pursue their cause, would meet later in the week to assess the situation.
“We are going to do that because the two weeks we gave them to pay has lapsed and we must follow up on the matter,” he stressed.
Recall that the sharing template by which ASUU is getting 75 percent of the allowance and the three other unions raking the remainder has caused a lot of disaffection between the staff unions.
The development is threatening to cause another round of industrial unrest in the nation’s ivory towers.