University lecturers may have won the battle to get more money under their earned allowances. As such the universities on strike may soon resume academic activities.
The Federal Government on Thursday granted their request that their N23billion outstanding Earned Allowances be released.
The money will be released next week according to the Minister of Education Adamu Adamu.
The government said the Nigerian Universities Pension Management Company matter would be resolved with the Pension Commission in the next one week.
But he reiterated the refusal of the governemt to exempt the federal universities from the Treasury Single Account (TSA) system
Adamu gave an insight into the negotiation with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) during a meeting with the Senate Committee on Tertiary Education and the Tertiary Education Fund (TETFUND).
The minister said the Ministry of Finance had promised to undertake a forensic audit of the N30billion allowance earlier released to the lecturers, bringing the total to N53billion.
Adamu said: “They (lecturers) asked for N23billion to be paid. But we said the condition for that N23billion to be released was for them to account for the N30billion they had taken, which is a total of N53billion. And they were not able to account for it.
“The Minister of Finance undertook to do the audit from the ministry. We agreed that the result will be known in six months. During the six months, government undertook to be paying them N1.5billion each month during the time they are waiting for this.”
The minister added that the Ministry of Finance had already approved the release of the funds but not yet cash backed.
“Probably by Monday, they will be able to receive the cheque. And we will do forensic audit on the entire N53billion,” Adamu said
ASUUdeclared an indefinite strike last weekend over Federal Government’s failure to fulfill the 2009/2013 agreement with the union.
The issues in the agreement are: funding for the revitalisation of public universities, earned academic allowances, registration of Nigerian Universities Pension Management Company, university staff school, fictionalisation and non-payment of salaries among others.
On the TSA exemption request, he said:”There are other issues which we didn’t agree. And that was their request to be taken out of TSA. I told them that it is not possible because this is a new policy and government is not going to change it for anyone.”