News

February 22, 2024

Four months withheld salaries paid to ASUU – FG

Tinubu directs NYSC, law school to NOUN graduates for service
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

The Federal Government on Wednesday said it has paid in full the four months withheld salaries to the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU as approved by President Bola Tinubu.

It also said that it has made substantial financial commitments in the provision of CNG buses and that the buses will be rolled out soon to alleviate the transportation challenges being faced by Nigerians.

These were contained in a statement signed by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Rt. Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha.

The statement said that the federal government is committed to its obligation on the signed October 2 agreement with the organised labour.

Although, ASUU had recently said that only two months of the withheld salaries were paid, the Minister in the statement said:

“With respect to the outstanding Salaries and wages of Tertiary Education workers in Federal Owned Educational Institutions, Government has paid in full the four months outstanding salaries to ASUU as approved by Mr. President. Action is on-going with respect to other Unions as well.”

The statement further stated that the government has reviewed the commitments made with the Organized Labour in the agreement entered with it, adding that very substantial progress has been made in the following areas:

Listing some of the items in contention, the Minister said: “On the payment of wage award of N35,000 for Six Months, Government has so far paid for four months up to 31st December, 2023. The remaining two months of January and February, 2024 are being processed.

“On the Minimum Wage Committee, Government has on 30th January, 2024, inaugurated a 37 Member Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage to review and come up with an acceptable and sustainable Minimum Wage for the Nigerian Workers. The Committee has so far held two meetings and discussions are on-going.

“With respect to the suspension of collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) on Diesel for Six Months beginning from October, 2023, this was effected immediately. It is on record, that no one has been subjected to this form of taxation since October, 2023.

“On the provision of CNG Buses and conversion Kits, Government has so far made substantial financial commitments in this area. These busses will be rolled out very soon to alleviate the transportation challenges being faced by Nigerians.

“On the issue of various tax incentives as contained in the agreement, Government has commenced series of engagements with relevant stakeholders while all necessary machineries are being put in place for effective implementation.”

The government also claimed it has waded into the leadership crises rocking NURTW and RTEAN and that the issue has been amicably resolved.

“The Lagos State Government was mandated to address the matter and as we speak, the Executive Body of the Union has been inaugurated and all contending issues are resolved,” it added

Continuing, it said, “So far, 3,140,819 households including vulnerable Pensioners have benefitted from the N25,000 monthly conditional cash transfer amounting to N68.3 Billion before the temporary suspension of the programme.

“With respect to the issue of subsidized distribution of Fertilizers to Farmers across the Country, Government has made tremendous progress in this regard to ensure effective distribution to farmers to boast agricultural production.

“Government has constantly engaged various State Governments and the Private Sector on the issue of the implementation of wage award for their workers and this has been receiving favourable compliance by State Governments. Government will continue to use all relevant channels to ensure sustainability of the programmes.

“In order to encourage Micro and Small Enterprises as contained in Mr. President’s Broadcast on 1st August, 2023 to the Nation, plans have reached an advanced stage to accelerate the process of job creation through the release of funds to Micro and Small Scale business.

“In order to ascertain the level of rehabilitation of the Refineries in the country, a joint visitation by Government and Organized Labour was successfully carried out today, 21st February, 2024 and it was established that the Port-Harcourt Refinery is 80% completed. Production of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) will commence before the end of the year.

“In conclusion, the Federal Government is committed to social dialogue with organized labour and other stakeholders towards achieving industrial peace and harmony, while prioritizing workers welfare.”