The Lagos State University (LASU) says efforts are on to resolve the issue of Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) owed its lecturers since 2009.
The university, in its official bulletin on Wednesday, obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said that efforts were on to resolve the issue amicably without rancour.
It said the accumulated unpaid EAA would be resolved like issues of backlogs of salary arrears, promotions , among others.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), LASU chapter, had on Tuesday demanded the payment of unpaid EAA accumulated since 2009 to lecturers in the institution.
The union said that the EAA was a product of the ASUU/Federal Government Agreement of 2009, which redefined the minimum benchmark for university administration in Nigeria.
ASUU-LASU had claimed that the Lagos State Government and LASU administration had since breached the agreement, as it remains the only university yet to pay any fraction of the allowance throughout the country.
The university, in its response in the bulletin, said its position was to educate its stakeholders in reaction to the release by ASUU–LASU executive, which was capable of misinforming members of the university and the public.
The university said it may not be totally correct that it is the only Institution yet to make concrete commitment for the payment of the EAA.
It said reliable information has it that most federal universities have not been able to fully discharge their obligations with respect to the allowance.
“Others as well as state universities made payment at the detriment of regular payment of salaries.
“We are all privy to the economic reality in our nation today, ” it said.
According to the university, the LASU Committee for Peace and Conflict Resolution looked into the EAA issue as early as July, 2017.
“The Committee has submitted its recommendations to the management on possible ways of effecting the payment, contrary to the union’s claim that the matter was treated with levity.
“Secondly, the LASU Committee of Professors have also considered the issue at one of its ad hoc meetings and advised the university management on the workable ways to achieve same objective with the Lagos state government.
” A subcommittee of four Professors (Odewumi, Yusuf, Elias and Akanbi) was set-up there and then, to work out the complete financial implication of the EAA and possible modalities for payment, ” it said.
According to the university, though the subcommittee is still working, the management in anticipation of the committee’s report had officially informed the Governing Council of the issue at plenary.
The university said the governing council was very receptive to the Professors’ initiative and promised to present and discuss the report with the Visitor to the university as soon as it was submitted.
“The governing council has also assured the management that as soon as the current discussions between ASUU/Federal Government are concluded, the matter should be re- opened with the Visitor with a view to getting it concluded as soon as possible.
” It is regrettable that the present posture of ASUU-LASU executive members with its decision to publish posters, banners, and approach the media, in our view, is not the best approach.
“This may mislead members of the university community and create chaos as well as confusion which may thus destabilise the hard earned peace enjoyed by the university.
” To put the records straight, a number of components of the EAA have been paid by the university, an indication that it has fully domesticated the ASUU/FG agreement.
” Such components include but not limited to the Hazard, Responsibility and Teaching Practice Allowances, ” it said.
The university appealed to ASUU-LASU to exercise patience on the singular issue, as it would continue to welcome workable and practicable suggestions on ways to meaningfully resolve any issue that touches the essence of its existence.
” ASUU-LASU executive members need to realise that their constant attacks on the Governor of Lagos state who is also the Visitor to the university, the Pro- chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council ,the university management, respected Professors, among others, can only be counterproductive and will not, in any way, complement efforts toward the payment of EAA and as such will only negatively affect the image of our highly rated university, ” it said.
The university reiterated that the current administration was committed to resolving the issue of the EAA .