ASUU strike: No Collective Bargaining Agreement awaiting President’s approval – Ngige

Written by on July 14, 2022

The Federal Government has stated that there is no Collective Bargaining Agreement between it and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, which currently awaits signing by  the President. 
 
The Minister of Labor and Employment, Chris Ngige, said even when such a Collective Bargaining Agreement is produced between unions and the Federal Government, it is not the President that signs but the Government side – MDAs led by the direct employer – with the conciliating ministry witnessing. 

The Minister in a statement signed by deputy director press, Olajide Oshundun said the clarification has become necessary in view of the deluge of deliberate misinformation being dished out to Nigerians by the President of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, as well as his branch leaders, calling on President Buhari to sign an agreement which they claimed to have reached with the Federal Government. 
 
Ngige therefore insists that What is in existence is a  proposal and even when such Collective bargaining agreement is made, it is not the President that signs it.
 
He said it is pertinent to note that that Professor Nimi Briggs Committee on renegotition of 2009 agreement, just like the Professor Munzali Committee it replaced, is an internal committee of the Ministry of Education to receive ASUU demands and renegotiate areas of the Agreement, while also receiving briefs from the MDAs, that act as advisers, before making any counter offer to ASUU and other unions. 
 
He said unfortunately, ASUU insisted that these relevant advisory MDAs recuse themselves from the sitting of the Briggs Committee, accusing them of non-cooperation.

The Minister noted that, All alone with the Professor Briggs Committee, ASUU started fixing  their salaries and allowances to the exclusion of the statutory government ministries and agencies that manage the entire annual finances of government, budget and fiscal policies, and the Office of the Head of Civil Service that is in charge of ensuring that public service rules and regulations are not undermined in any condition of service offered to public officers in the universities.
 
Ngige noted that with the Professor Briggs committee Proposal of 109 -185% increase in the university wage structure, the Federal Government will incur an additional N560b as salaries alone, on top of the present N412b, less all other allowances such as Earned Academic Allowances and fringe benefits, Teaching Allowance, field trip, responsibility and post-graduate supervision allowances, hazard allowances, which were to gulp another N170b.
 
In all, the sum of N1.12 Trillion will be needed to pay the salaries and allowances of university lecturers and other staff in the university system and at present, the wage bill of the university staff and their colleagues in Teaching Health Systems gulp nearly 50% of the total  federal government staff personnel cost/wages. 

The Minister recalled too that the staff of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education have also placed their wage review in the front burner since two months ago, just like the medical doctors and the joint health sector unions,JOHESU.
 
Ngige added that currently, the Presidential Committee on Salaries and Wages has finished the review of  the Professor Nimi Briggs proposal and will shortly submit same to the President, which will clear every doubt that there is an agreement before the President waiting for his signature. 

(AIT NEWS)


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