Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has accused the Federal Government of deducting over 140 million naira from the personnel cost sent to the University of Ibadan by the federal government for the month of February.
ASUU in a statement signed by the Chairman, University of Ibadan chapter, Dr Deji Omole made available to journalists in Ibadan, threatened to embark on fresh industrial strike to protest the shortfall in the payment of salaries and allowances of its members by the federal government.
The union also vowed to resist any attempt by the federal government to continue to make her members suffer the biting effects of economic recession due to what it called unjustified and unilateral reductions of salaries of university staff.
The ASUU chairman, Dr Omole while questioning the rationale for short-changing workers for working full time, asked the Minister of Education to see into the latest development before the Universities are thrown into another round of crisis.
“This government has consistently shown with her policies that they are anti-workers and anti-masses. How can a staff that was only paid a part of his salaries be accused of being over-paid? They should explain to us what is meant by over payment before they destroy public universities with their latest method to enrich their friends,” he said.
While vowing to resist this latest attempt “to make life more difficult for the intellectual community,” the ASUU Chairman said the public should not blame the union but the government that unilaterally reduced the salaries of lecturers without justification should this lead to another unrest on campuses”
New Nigerian Newspapers gathered that the deduction was sequel to a letter from the office of the Minister of Finance dated 16th February and signed by M.K Dikwa and sent to the Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan wherein the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit claimed that the personnel cost released to the University in January 2017 was in excess of N69,985,954.58 and consequently carried out the deductions in the February allocations.
According to sources, in the letter entitled ‘Recovery of Excess Personnel Cost released to MDAs in the Month of January 2017’, it was stated that “in line with the federal government’s objective of ensuring greater transparency and the accountability in the administration of personnel cost and associated items of expenditure in the annual budget, the presidential initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) was mandated to examine and verify the personnel cost released to federal MDAs for the Month of January 2017”.
“The exercise revealed that your institution received the sum of N1,076,706,947.58 as against the sum of N1,006,720,993.00 which is the actual verified salary bill for the month of January, 2017. You are therefore requested to make a refund of N69,985,954.58 to the consolidated Revenue Fund and forward evidence of refund to PICA for record, reconciliation and necessary action” it said
It was learnt that following the development, the university management called an emergency meeting with union leaders to deliberate on the allocation to the university informing that only about 80 percent of their salaries can be paid with the allocation considering that while the university was yet to make the refund, the February allocation to the university was N696, 762,310.67 as against N836, 487, 299.25 used in paying only ninety-five percent of the salaries in January.
Sources stressed that the union leaders at the meeting expressed their displeasure over “another round of shortfall demanding that federal government should explicitly state how it will claim the University of Ibadan was overpaid when no single staff received full salaries in January.