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Strike: We Don’t Have Any Agreement – FG Tells ASUU

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The Federal Government on Wednesday stated that there was no Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between it and the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) awaiting the signature of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Minister of Labour and Employment Senator Chris Ngige said this in a statement by the Deputy Director Press and Public Relations in the Ministry, Olajide Oshundun on Wednesday.

Ngige noted that even when such a CBA was produced between unions and the Federal Government, it was not the President that would sign but the government side, MDAs led by the direct employer with the conciliating ministry witnessing.

The Minister accused ASUU of fixing its salaries and allowances through the Nimi Briggs Committee to the exclusion of the statutory government ministries and agencies that manage the entire annual finances of government, budget and fiscal policies and the Office of the Head of Service in charge of ensuring that public service rules and regulations are not undermined in any condition of service offered to public officers in the universities.

According to him, Prof. Briggs Proposal of 109 -185% increase in the university wage structure, would cost the federal government N560bn as salaries alone in addition to the current N412bn.

He added that N1.12tn would be needed to pay the salaries and allowances of university lecturers and other staff in the university system.

The statement reads: “This clarification has become necessary in view of the deluge of deliberate misinformation being dished out to Nigerians by the President of ASUU, Prof. Osodeke as well as his branch leaders, calling on President Buhari to sign an agreement which they claimed to have reached with the Federal Government.

“We wish therefore to inform Nigerians that there is no such Collective Bargaining Agreement(CBA) that has been reached between the Federal Government, ASUU and other university unions on the renegotiation of their salaries and allowances(wages). What is in existence is a proposal. Even when such a CBA is made , it is not the President that signs it. From available records, no Nigerian President or sovereign signs such.

“The true position is that Nigerians are aware that ASUU has been on strike since February 14, 2022 and locked in negotiations on their demand, especially of their conditions of service – wages , salaries, allowances and other public service matters, that should be guided by relevant Federal Government Ministries and agencies – Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Budget office of the Federation , National Salaries Income and Wages Commission, Office of Head of Service of the Federation, through the newly set up Prof. Nimi Briggs Committee.

“Note that Prof Nimi Brigg Committee just like the Prof. Munzali Committee it replaced , is an internal committee of the Ministry of Education to receive ASUU demands and renegotiate areas of 2009 Agreement while also receiving briefs from the MDAs mentioned above that act as advisers, before making any counter offer to ASUU and other unions.

“Unfortunately, ASUU insisted that these relevant advisory MDAs recuse themselves from the sitting of the Briggs Committee accusing them of non-cooperation. All alone with the Prof Briggs Committee, ASUU started fixing their salaries and allowances to the exclusion of the statutory government ministries and agencies that manage the entire annual finances of government , budget and fiscal policies and the Office of the Head of Service that is in charge of ensuring that public service rules and regulations are not undermined in any condition of service offered to public officers in the universities.

“Because of this exclusion engineered by ASUU, and the arising complaints to the Chief of Staff to the President and the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment by the concerned MADs , the Chief of Staff and the Honourable Minister of Labour set up an inter-Ministerial/Agency sub Committee comprising the affected MDA’s under the Minister of State Budget and Planning to quickly look into Prof. Briggs Committee report which to all intents and purpose was still a proposal in June 2022 at the government side meeting. This assignment was to be completed with the Presidential Committee on Salaries and Wages and given two weeks to come up with their recommendation.

“Having rounded off its work, the committee returned as verdict; that with the Prof. Briggs Proposal of 109 -185% increase in the university wage structure, the Federal Government will incur an additional N560b as salaries alone , on top of the present N412B , less all other allowances such as Earned Academic Allowances and fringe benefits , Teaching Allowance, Field trip, responsibility and Postgraduate supervision , allowances, Hazard allowances which were to gulp another N170B.

“In all, the sum of N1.12 Trillion will be needed to pay the salaries and allowances of university lecturers and other staff in the university system . At present , the wage bill of the university staff and their colleagues in Teaching Health Systems gulp nearly 50% of the total federal government staff personnel cost/wages . Recall that the staff of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education have also placed their wage review on the front burner since two months ago. This is just like the medical doctors and the JOHESU who have placed before the federal government, the need for wage review which the government agrees that even with the 10% review of salary , following the Minimum Wage and the Consequential review of 2019, her employees will need some salary enhancement for all sectors and just for education or health employees alone.

“Currently, the Presidential Committee on Salaries and Wages has finished the review of the Prof. Nimi Briggs proposal and will shortly submit the same to the President. This clears every doubt that there is an agreement before the President waiting for his signature. There is none!

“On UTAS , UPPPS and IPPIS , Nigerians will recall that IPPIS was an inherited payment platform meant to run side by side the corrupt ridden defunct GIFMIS platform. However because of the issues of ghost workers, inflated personnel cost , non-payment of PAYE taxes by federal employees in the states to their respective states governments, who turn around to collect these tax and the differential from the federal government, through the Joint Tax Board government decided to make IPPIS payment platform, sole and compulsory to all federal government staff drawing their remunerations from the federal government treasury.

“However, ASUU and other staff of the universities complained that IPPIS did not capture the peculiarities of the university system; that their salaries and peculiarities like sabbatical were being amputated. ASUU had to come up with UTAS as an alternative platform.

“Subjected however to a critical integrity and vulnerability test – a bulwark against fraud during salary payment at NITDA, it failed. It also failed the stress test. Meanwhile, non-teaching staff of the universities also came up with UPPPS, each vowing not to submit to the other, proven successful or otherwise. But following the tripartite plus meeting of May 12, 2022, at the Presidential Villa, NITDA was directed to subject the three platforms of IPPIS, UTAS and UPPPS to test. The fresh test on UTAS and on UPPPS has been concluded and results are awaited while that of IPPIS is still in the works but all will be concluded in the next one week.

“We finally use this medium to once more appeal to ASUU and their sister university unions whose complaints except for the Renegotiation of their 2013/2014 Agreement, to go back to school, knowing full well that these ceaseless strikes de-market our universities and certificates therefrom, while government labours with their leaders to produce a standard pay rise as soon as possible.

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Education

Kwara Goes Tough On Illegal Examination Fees

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Kwara State Government has vowed to sanction any principal  who collects above the fees approved for external examinations.

Fidel Info reports that the decision to again outlaw any form of extortion is part of the ongoing reform agenda of the government to improve quality of education without imposing any hardship on the parents.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, Mrs Mary kemi Adeosun, made this known today at a meeting with the Principals of Senior Secondary Schools across the state during this year’s 2022 West African School Certificate Examination floating.

The Permanent Secretary was represented by the Director Curriculum and Assessment of the Ministry, Hajia Folashade Raji, at Saint Anthony Secondary School, Ilorin.

Adeosun gave the break down of the approved registration fees for WASSCE 2022/2023 thus: WAEC Charges N18,000, E – regisration Charges N1,050

Administrative Charges N1,100 and the total fees to be paid is N20,150.

She said the ministry will not tolerate extra charges from any principal apart from the one approved by the ministry of Education and Human Capital Development.

She also solicited the support of the Principals for the administration of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq who, she said, is wholeheartedly committed to the welfare of teachers and the citizens.

Speaking at the same event, the Executive Chairman of the Kwara State Teaching Service Commission, Mallam Bello Tauheed Abubakar, applauded Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for moving the education sector forward in the state.

Bello explained that the present monitoring embarked upon  by the ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, in conjunction with the Teaching Service Commission and Chairman Kwara State Universal Education Board, is to improve the sector.

In their contributions, the President of All Nigeria Confederation of Principals of Secondary Schools, Comrade Usman Abdulahi and the Chairman of Nigerian Union of Teachers, Kwara State Chapter, Comrade Bashir Oyewo, applauded Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for putting the right people to run the affairs of the  education sector in the state.

They  thanked the governor for revamping the sector through the rehabilitation and construction of schools across the three senatorial districts of the state, recruitment of qualified teachers to all primary and secondary schools across the state, prompt payment of salaries and training and retraining of teachers.

Other achievements of the governor, according to the stakeholders, include the promotion of teachers and free hand to select outstanding teachers for awards which has never happened  in the history of the state.

They promised to ensure improved productivity of teachers across the state.

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Education

KWASU Releases Pre-Admission Process Schedule

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Kwara State University has released the Pre Admission process schedule for the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B; B.S) Programme.

Fidel Info reports that the process is for Candidates whose first choice of institution is Kwara State University or Candidates who wish to choose Kwara State University (KWASU) as their first choice. They are, however, required to change their choice of institution to KWASU on JAMB Portal before the Pre-Admission Screening Registration.

To be eligible, all candidates must have Five (5) O’level credits passes at ONE sitting in the following subjects: English Language, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics and UTME subjects in English Language, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

Online registration starts on Tuesday 29th November 2022 and closes on Wednesday, 7th December 2022.

Candidates are required to pay a non-refundable fee of Two Thousand Naira (N2,000) only.

The procedure for the admission screening registration goes as thus:

1. Visit https://portal.kwasu.edu.ng and click on “Click here to apply”

2. Click the Undergraduate link under the Apply Now menu bar at the top

3. Enter your JAMB Registration Number correctly and complete the basic information page (Please note: Enter only valid phone number and email address and click next).

4. On the payment review page, click on “Make Payment” and this will take you to the payment page where you can provide your card details.

5. Enter your ATM card (Mastercard, Visa, or Verve) number and other details as appropriate and submit

6. Enter the “OTP code” sent to your phone and click Continue to complete your payment.

7. After a successful payment, click on “Main login” on the portal, enter your JAMB registration number and Surname as password

8. Click on “Login” and complete your registration.

9. Ensure you print the completed registration form and payment receipt for your record.

Failed payments attempt dues to bad network or debits without completing the payment can be re-queried. Enter the JAMB registration number and phone number, press the tab button to display a Re-query interface below the page, then Re-query the unsuccessful payment attempt. For support, contact helpdesk@kwasu.edu.ng

All candidates must know that final admission into the University is based on meeting the University’s and the Academic Programmes’ cut-off points in UTME and also on the availability of spaces within the NUC-approved admission quota for Kwara State University, Malete (KWASU).

Candidates are to note that, falsification of citizenship certificates, or any documents for that matter, will lead to disqualification and prosecution.

The closing date for online registration is Wednesday 7th December 2022.

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Education

Like Adeleke, PDP’s Guber Candidate Yaman Abdullah To Sack Kwara Teachers If Elected

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Strong indications have emerged over plans by the gubernatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to sack the civil servants if elected as a governor in the 2023 polls.

Fidel Info reports that In May 2021, Kwara State Government recruited 4,701  including 50 first class graduates for teaching jobs in both TESCOM and UBEC categories.

The exercise overseen by independent groups, experts, and NUT was adjudged thorough, the fairest and most transparent recruitment process in the state.

The development followed the layoff of 2,414 teachers in the employ of SUBEB over allegations bordering on incompetence, faulty recruitment process, and nepotism into service in December 2020.

The workers were engaged by the administration of ex-governor Abdulfatah Ahmed a few months before the end of his tenure.

Eventually dubbed the ‘sunset’ workers, findings revealed many of them were primarily engaged to settle the party members of the outgoing government in the state.

During the new exercise, some ‘sunset’ workers who had reapplied were caught and arrested by the police for examination malpractices, trying to game the system.

Along with the renovation of schools, prompt payment of teachers’ salaries, and introduction of KwaraLEARN, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has been praised at various times by stakeholders for the bold steps in revitalising the education sector in the state.

This may be reversed.

As directed, some of the sunset workers registered for, participated in the new recruitment, and were reappointed in May 2021.

Six months after, Kwara was announced the winner of the presidential debate competition defeating Kaduna, Kano, and Lagos state.

However, some of the sunset workers still stuck to the streets for months protesting their disengagementemnt from service.

It was gathered that some of them didn’t reapply due to a lack of required certificates, incompetence, and, or, couldn’t make it out of the recruitment process.

As weeks turned to months, they became a pressure group of blackmail against the government on radio and social media.

Stakeholders have severally expressed concerns that there public conducts were political and indecent for people seeking to raise children with sound values and morals in society.

Although quite early, these concerns might have come to pass.

The gubernatorial candidate of the PDP, Shuaibu Yaman Abdullah has thrown his weight behind the conduct of the sunset workers, promising to reinstate them once elected.

Speaking for the guber candidate over the weekend, Abdullah Kayode GreatKay, a member of the PDP reconciliation committee, disclosed that reinstatement of sunset workers was a priority to the party.

‘Education in peril’

Incidentally, people are concerned that Yaman’s decision panders to the base sentiments of politics, instead of prioritising education — the bedrock of sustainable social development.

“I thought Yaman would prioritise education. But with that statement, he is shown he is more interested in politics. So, he will reinstate people who were not competent to teach just because they were employed by Maigidia, one of his bosses now, two years after their sack. So, the feelings of 2,400 teachers, or ego of Abdulfatah Ahmed, come first over the future of Kwara children? Disappointing,” Hajia Rukayat Ahmed, a lecturer based in Ilorin, said.

“I don’t see any sense in reinstating the sunset workers who either didn’t reapply or failed the new exercise. We all saw the error-riddled placards they carried during their protests and the voice notes from their Whatsapp groups. Haba. Most of these people were not competent. How and why will a sane person employ them to teach our children? This is not a good idea,” Mrs Kehinde Iyabo, trader, lamented.

“I have read that article/statement all over again. I think what Yaman might be saying is that he will also sack the newly recruited, qualified teacher by this administration if Bukola or Ahmed asks him to sack them. Can govt afford salaries of 2000 teachers plus 4,701 at a go without affecting infrastructural projects? Will they be taken as workers or teachers? Will he conduct new exams for them to ascertain competence? Has he done needs assessment? Or he just wants to “reinstate” them for political purposes? Teaching jobs should be not like that. I fear that this man will put education in peril,” a don at the University of Ilorin who craved anonymity remarked.

In Osun, Governor Ademola Adeleke of PDP sacked 12,000 workers, reversed the appointment of 3 monarchs, and set aside the logo, anthem etc in his first day in office– a decision many described as ”draconian, vengeful, and narrow-minded.”

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