The Federal Government has tasked a seven-man committee to renegotiate the 2009 agreements it had with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other unions.
ASUU has been on a one-month warning strike since February 14.
Inaugurating the committee in Abuja, yesterday, Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, urged the members to re-negotiate, in realistic and workable terms, the 2009 agreements with university-based unions.
The committee is chaired by the Pro-Chancellor, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Prof. Nimi Briggs.
Other members are the Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Wukari, Lawrence Ngbale (representing North East); Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, Prof. Funmi Togunu-Bickersteth (South West) and Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Lokoja, Sen, Chris Adighije (South East).
The Pro-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof. Olu Obafemi (represents North Central); Pro-Chancellor, Kano State University of Science and Technology, Prof. Zubairu Iliyasu (North West); and Pro-Chancellor, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Matthew Seiyefa (South South).
Adamu recalled that the re-negotiation of the 2009 agreements between the Federal Government and university-based staff unions commenced on Monday, February 13, 2017.
“However, due to a number of unforeseen circumstances, including the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the exercise has, unfortunately, dragged on till now. The earnest desire of every stakeholder in the Nigerian university system and, indeed, the nation at large is to conclude this re-negotiation exercise within the shortest possible period.
“Therefore, I wish to especially appeal to this re-constituted committee to double its effort towards concluding the assignment and producing realistic and workable draft agreements that would holistically tackle the challenges confronting the and reposition it to effectively play its very important role in national development.”
According to the minister, the committee will liaise and consult with relevant stakeholders to finalise the position of the Federal Government on the issues in the draft Federal Government/ASUU agreement.
He said the committee would also negotiate and recommend any other issue it deemed relevant to reposition the university system for global competitiveness, including submitting the draft agreements within three months from the date of inauguration.
Adamu added: “Indeed, your nomination to serve the Federal Government in this capacity is not unconnected with your track records of invaluable impact on the development and progress of the university system. Therefore, I have no reservation that you would conduct this all-important assignment with the seriousness and the urgency it deserves. This is, more so, considering the ongoing industrial action by one of the unions.”