N40bn: Earned academic allowance not for all ASUU members — Ogunyemi

President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor ‘Biodun Ogunyemi, has revealed that not all ASUU members will benefit from the Federal Government approved N40 billion Earned Academic Allowance to university workers.

He said the allowances covered only seven items under the 2009 Federal Government and ASUU agreement, which he said were strictly for lecturers whose duties fell under those assignments.

Professor Ogunyemi gave this hint in an exclusive interview with the Nigerian Tribune.

It will be recalled that ASUU suspended its 10-month-old strike last December after the Federal Government had approved the release of the said N40 billion with a promise to meet other conditions.

According to Ogunyemi, the 75 per cent ASUU share from the money is meant for lecturers who teach postgraduate students, supervise postgraduate projects,  involve in study leave for sponsored postgraduate programmes, or have excess workload, among others.

“So, each lecturer would earn the academic allowance based on his or her engagement under the seven items, and lecturers who are not engaging in any of the activities would earn nothing, even though each allowance is like a peanut,” Ogunyemi said.

He explained that the N40 billion arrived at by the Federal Government was based on calculation of the accumulated arrears of their unpaid Earned Academic Allowances over the years and not just a mere figure.

He, however, added that though ASUU was not against any other staff union demanding for its rights from government, the union had no knowledge where other unions had an agreement for such specified assignments for their categories of staff members.

“And that is why it is not all our members who are also benefiting from the various Earned Academic Allowances,” Ogunyemi said.

When his comments were sought on the promise made by the Federal Government in December regarding the Earned Academic Allowances, Professor Ogunyemi said ASUU was still monitoring the implementation of the various promises.

According to him, the two areas touched by government were the constitution of visitation panels and the payment of two-month salaries to some members.

He lamented that some ASUU members were still being owed about 10-month salaries in some universities, a situation he said the union frowned upon.

He said it was unacceptable that government and various universities were unnecessarily delaying payment of salaries of the affected lecturers on the ground that irregularities were discovered in the data of the affected lecturers.

Professor Ogunyemi added that 10 months should be more than enough to rectify such discrepancies if there was any.


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