‘Fed Govt not owing lecturers’

By Frank Ikpefan, Abuja

The altercation between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Office of the Accountant–General of the Federation (OAGF) over unpaid salaries and check–off dues continued at the weekend.

The union accused the government of owing over 1,000 of its members two to 16 months’ salaries.

It also accused the government of failing to remit check–off dues of its members as agreed in the Memorandum of Action, which led to the union suspending its nine–month strike.

The latest face-off is coming from the chairman of the union at the University of Jos (UNIJOS), Dr. Lazarus Maigoro.

The union leader accused the OAGF of withholding the salaries of over 100 members of ASUU at UNIJOS in a statement at the weekend.

But the director in charge of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) at the AGF’s office, Ben Nsikak, denied that the government is owing the university lecturers 13 months’ salary.

“It is not true,” he said in a text message on Saturday night.

The director urged ASUU to reach out to the OAGF through the university’s Bursar for reconciliation and payment.

The message reads: “The allegation of non-payment of over 1,000 staff of ASUU members for 13 months is not true. Salaries are paid as at when due and the OAGF cannot leave out UNIJOS lecturers for 13 months when others are paid.

“If there are issues in UNIJOS, ASUU should reach out to OAGF through their Bursar for reconciliation and payment.”

ASUU members recently resumed work after a prolonged strike caused by a dispute with the Federal Government.

The “indefinite strike”, which began in March, last year, arose from the union’s rejection of what it called the use of force on its members to enroll on IPPIS, a payroll software mandated for all public officials.

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