The federal government has inaugurated a new committee to renegotiate the 2009 agreements with lecturers and others, as part of its effort to end the eight-month-old strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Recall that the lecturers who are currently on strike are demanding funding for the revitalization of universities, earned allowance, the constitution of visitation panels, payment of shortfall in salaries of lecturers, and a stop to the use of the payment platform, IPPIS, for payment of the salaries and allowances of lecturers.
Speaking on Wednesday, December 2, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu who inaugurated the committee said public universities will resume activities like their private counterpart soon.
The committee which will re-negotiate the 2009 agreement between the federal government and the university-based unions, will be headed by Professor Munzali Jibril and is categorised into substantive members, advisers and observers.
Members of the committee are the Pro-Chancellor, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Nimota Akanbi; Pro-Chancellor, Federal University Ndufu Alike, Ikwo, Nimi Briggs; Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Wukari, Lawrence Ngbale; Pro-Chancellor, FUT, Minna, Femi Odekunle; Pro-Chancellor, University of Calabar, Nkechi Nworgu, Pro-Chancellor, Kaduna State University Shehu Abdullahi and Pro-Chancellor, Kebbi State University, Mamman Magoro.
The advisers are Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC); Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund); Chairman, Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVC); Chairman, Committee of Vice-Chancellors of State-owned Universities; Chairman, Association of Registrars of Nigerian Universities (ARNU); Secretary, Association of Registrars of Nigerian Universities (ARNU); Chairman, Association of Bursars of Nigerian Universities (ABNU), and Secretary, Association of Bursars of Nigerian Universities (ABNU).
The observer category is composed of representatives from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Federal Ministry of Education, Federal Ministry of Finance and Budget Planning, Federal Ministry of Justice, Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, and Office of Head of Civil Service of the Federation.
“It has also become necessary and urgent that all hands must now be on deck to restore the confidence reposed in university education by students, parents and the general public.
“As you are quite aware, the federal government and relevant stakeholders, in the past months, have been neck-deep in several meetings with the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and others, to resolve the outstanding issues that led to the current industrial action in public universities.
“Government, like other stakeholders, is also worried about the vicious cycle over the years of the myriad of industrial actions by one staff union or the other.
The cumulative effect has been the obvious loss of productive and precious
man-hours direly needed by the universities to fulfil their tripod mandates of teaching, research and community action.
“The terms of reference of the team are to re-negotiate the residual issues in the 2009 Agreements between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the university-based unions, towards a workable and implementable agreement between both parties, such that will facilitate repositioning of Nigerian universities for greater responsibilities in national development.
“Propose and prescribe short, medium and long-term measures for the
sustainable funding and management of federal universities, in order to
restore lasting peace, stability, harmony and progress in the Nigerian
university system; and make any other recommendations.”