The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, on Tuesday, in Abuja has said that the Federal Government is poised to enhance the remuneration package of university lecturers.


This is as he affirmed that the government is open to juxtaposing lecturers’ earnings in Nigeria with what is obtainable outside and making compensatory increments, if necessary.

Ngige spoke to State House Correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, after briefing the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on the status of FG’s current engagement with the Academic Staff Union of University over ingoing the one-month warning strike.


The Minister noted that the President after consultation with some stakeholders including the National Inter-Religious Council had directed him, the ministers of education and Communication and Digital Economy to quickly resolve the strike.


He said the federal government has already met with ASUU, with another meeting planned for Tuesday.


He also noted that the issues of earned allowances and revitalisation have not been ironed out “otherwise, we have put timelines on most of the other things.”


The minister said: “Yes, our university lecturers here deserve good pay. A worker is due his wages. So, if we compare with what obtains in other climes and they are not adequately remunerated, there is nothing that stops the government within the lean resources we have to do some compensation raise and make them happy.

So, we are not opposed to that but there is a process like I explained to them.”


Ngige noted that a timeline had been given for the draft proposal the union submitted at the ministry of education for their conditions of service and wages to be concluded.


He said when the relevant committee headed by the chair of pro-chancellors submits its report, it will be considered together with the National Salaries and Wages Commission to ensure that the proposed allowances do not exceed government’s extant fixtures.

According to him, Buhari was satisfied with his brief and the “2020 December agreement with ASUU is on course in terms of implementation.”


The minister also revealed that N40bn for earned allowances has been paid just as N30bn for revitalisation as well as the sum of N22.7bn paid from supplementary budget and also earned allowances for 2021.


On the much-debated use of the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System or the University Transparency Accountability Solutions, Ngige said the committee concerned has only four weeks to provide feedback.


“Again, we gave the committee four weeks to report back to us. So, you can see we are making progress,” he said.



He explained that the National Information Technology Development Agency ran user acceptance tests, integrity and vulnerability tests on UTAS and decided that it did not meet the requirements after spotting weaknesses in the system, but ASUU has rejected it as incorrect.


He said a joint technical team will re-run the tests to confirm the initial findings and necessary solutions.



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