Indication emerged on Thursday that the Federal Government may have rejected the Nimi-Briggs Committee over the alleged allocation of a pay rise of 180 percent to university teaching staff, while the non-teaching staff was given 10 percent.
The Federal Government had set up the Briggs-led committee to renegotiate the 2009 Agreement between the government and the university-based unions, the report was however submitted one month ago But sources at the Ministry of Finance accused the Briggs Committee of connivance with ASUU in proposing an impracticable increase in the university wage structure where a Professor is to earn N2 million a month. The sources close to the Presidential Committee on Salaries and Wages alleged that though Prof. Briggs is the Pro-chancellor of the Federal University, Lokoja, he still teaches at the University of Port Harcourt hence the alleged conspiracy to make a pay rise of about 180 percent for teaching staff, while the non teaching staff was given a paltry pay rise. Besides, the source claimed that ASUU in collaboration with the Committee excluded the relevant advisory Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs that were key to the negotiation.
The relevant MDA’s that were excluded according to multiple sources are the Ministries of Finance, Education, Labour and Employment, Budget Office of the Federation, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission from the sittings of the committee. According to the sources,
“These are critical MDAs that manage the finances of the Federal Government, its receipts and expenditures as well as administer the public service of the federation.
“Their exclusion from the sittings of Prof. Nimi Briggs easily explains its non-inclusive and one-sided proposal, recommending sky-high, impracticable figures in salaries and allowances that are clearly beyond the capacity of the Federal Government. “How can you discuss the service condition of a section of the public service of the federation without the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation or salaries and wage structure without contributions from the Minister of finance, Budget Office or National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission?
“To the exclusion of the Presidential Committee on Salaries? This is an anomaly. And how could the Briggs Committee skate over such a grave issue,” the source asked. According to findings by Vanguard’s reporter, Briggs Committee proposed a professor to earn N19.5 million per annum and when other allowances are added, will scale up to N23 million per annum, making it about N2 million monthly.