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ASUU faults Ngige on double pay, others
Frank Ikpefan, Abuja
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has refuted claims by Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige that some lecturers receive double pay while some are ghost workers.
The Federal Government and the leadership of ASUU have been at loggershead over the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System(IPPIS) 2009 FG/ASUU agreement, earned academic allowance among others.
On Sunday, Ngige said the taxes being deducted by Bursars and Vice Chancellors of Universities are not reflective of the taxes of PAYE (Pay As You Earn).
Ngige said the federal government had to offset the shortfall of over N800 billion to state governments through Joint Tax Board (JTB) as a result.
The minister had said: “The anomalies are that, one, some of the people are ghost workers. They don’t exist at all but their names exist and they are drawing money from the Federal Government.
“Some people receive more than their due because after the salaries, some who are teaching in various other universities are supposed to take 50 percent as extra pay for teaching in that other universities and the maximum universities they should teach is two. Some teach in three, some teach in four universities.
“Again, the taxes that are being deducted by your bursar and your Vice Chancellor’s are not reflective of the taxes of PAYE (Pay As You Earn).
“They are not and because they are not, the shortfall of the taxes that are deducted, the various state governments where the universities are domicilled have petitioned the Joint Tax Board (JTB) to demand for this shortfalls, to demand for this shortfalls.”
But ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, described the Minister’s claims as “pure mischief.”
ASUU will continue strike, but is it ethical?
Ogunyemi wondered how many of those responsible for the so-called “double payments” had been apprehended, tried and jailed by the government to serve as deterrents.
He said: “This is pure mischief. We are thoroughly embarrassed that such reckless and baseless allegation could be credited to the Minister of Labour and Employment.
“In the first place, is ASUU responsible for the management of the payroll and personnel information in the universities?
“Secondly, how many of those responsible for the so-called “double payments” has government apprehended, tried and jailed to serve as deterrents?
“In the third place, what did government do in universities where ASUU submitted pentitions against Vice-Chancellors we suspected to have involved themselves in corrupt practices?
“Honestly, we in ASUU find it difficult to relate with Senator Chris Ngige as a “conciliator” as he prides himself.
“He does not come to us as an objective arbiter, and we are not surprised because he is part of the government.
“However, we expected him to at least be more charitable in his assessment of the roles of ASUU in revamping university education in Nigeria.
“I don’t know anybody in Senator Ngige’s generation who attended public universities 30 or 40 years ago who will not weep for our universities today.
“All the charade of blackmail and campaign of calumny against ASUU and its leadership today is because the Nigerian ruling class has succumbed to the agenda of the World Bank and IMF to hands off university education. ASUU has remained the only stumbling block.
“So, Nigerians should not be surprised if Senator Ngige and his team are all out to pull down ASUU and its leadership.”
Ogunyemi also said the union never declined invitation to negotiations with government.
He said: “ASUU has never declined invitation to negotiations with government. What we asked government representatives to do was to send us their response to the last letter we sent to them.
“ASUU leadership has been holding Zoom meetings with their members. We need to be sure of what is coming from government before accepting to attend any meeting.
“How can they claim to have invited us to a meeting without clear agenda or any letter of invitation?”
ASUU faults Ngige on double pay, others