NASU laments persistent low budgetary allocation to education, calls for improvement

•Condemned haphazard implementation of IPPIS

The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has condemned persistent low budgetary allocations to the education sector, holding this responsible for the dilapidated structures and continued crises in the sector.

Rising from its regular NEC meeting held in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, NASU observed with deep concern that over the years, the government has failed to adequately fund the education sector.

This very important issue is one of the outcomes after the NEC had received addresses and reports from its various organs and deliberated on them as they relate to the social and economic well-being of NASU members in education, research and health sectors and the nation at large.

In a communique issued after the meeting, “the NEC condemned in strong terms the 7.05 per cent budgetary allocation to education in 2019 and 6.7 per cent in the 2020 Federal Government annual budget, which are inadequate from the 26 per cent UNESCO recommended budgetary allocation to education.”

The communique, signed by the President of NASU, Comrade Makolo Hassan and the General Secretary, Prince Peters Adeyemi, however, acknowledged the sum of N40 billion recently ceded to the revitalization in the university system by the Federal Government.

The communique read: “NEC further noted the intervention of TETFund in the release of N1 billion each to 12 universities in the six geo-political zones.

“NEC noted with dismay the complete neglect of the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education sectors in these interventions despite the fact that needs assessment has been concluded in these sectors and the reports released.

“NEC therefore called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, improve on the budgetary allocation to the education sector and also implement the white paper for the needs assessments in the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.”

 

 

 

 

The Union also noted that the funding level of teaching/specialist hospitals and research institutes is grossly inadequate and called on the Federal Government to live up to its responsibilities by adequately funding these institutions.

On the protracted issue of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), the NEC-in-session noted with dismay the haphazard implementation of IPPIS in the universities and Inter-University Centres, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education since February, 2020.

The communique said: “NEC observed that contrary to the assurances given by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation prior to the enrolment of staff of the Universities and Inter-University Centres, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education into the scheme that, IPPIS will ensure convenient and prompt payment of staff remunerations with minimal wastages and ensure efficiency in service delivery, the experience of the Federal Universities and Inter-University Centres, Federal Polytechnics and Federal Colleges of Education since the implementation of IPPIS in February 2020 showed that the scheme is fraught with noticeable shortcomings.

“The noticeable shortcomings include non-payment of salaries to some staff, underpayment of salaries, non-payment of approved allowances, non-payment of promotion arrears, non-deduction of welfare scheme, high taxation, delay in payment of salaries, under-remittance and non-remittance of check-off dues to NASU among others.

“NEC expressed dismay that, despite all that the union has done including a 14-day warning strike and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with Government on October 20, 2020, where the Director of IPPIS was directed to ensure that all these anomalies are corrected within two weeks and a special committee headed by the Chairman of National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) was set up, have failed to yield the desired result.

“NEC therefore called on the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to urgently redress these shortcomings falling which NASU may embark on full-blown strike in the Universities and Inter-University Centres, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.”

On the issue of earned allowance, it read: “NEC-in-session observed that one of the most contentious issues in the Universities and Inter-University Centres today is the payment of the outstanding earned allowance to the staff of the Universities and Inter-University Centres.

“NEC further noted that what the Federal Government has been doing since 2012 is to release a token to the non-teaching staff to share from what is ceded to another group within the system.

“NEC, however, cautioned that this time around, if in the next release of the earned allowance, NASU members are shortchanged as it was in 2017 and 2018, the union will have no choice than to embark on appropriate legitimate action which will guarantee fairness, justice and equity in the sharing of whatever is allocated as earned allowance.”

NEC-in-session further expressed concern over the unilateral stoppage of the renegotiation of the years 2009 and 2010 FGN/NASU Agreement in the Universities and Inter-University Centres, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education by the Federal Government renegotiation teams.

NEC noted that these agreements were subject to review after every three years and are overdue for renegotiation; adding, “this is unhealthy for the sustenance of industrial peace and uninterrupted academic calendar in our tertiary institutions.”

The NEC, therefore, called on the Federal Government through the Office of the  Minister of Education to prevail on the renegotiation committees to conclude the renegotiation in the various sectors and submit their report to the Federal Government for immediate implementation.

 

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