From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has inaugurated a reconstituted Federal Government renegotiation team to interface with university base labour unions, notably, ASUU, NASU, SSANU, NAAT over the 2009 agreement it reached with labour unions.
The reconstituted committee would continue work from where similar committee inaugurated in 2017 headed by Dr. Wale Babalakin, stopped.
Adamu who inaugurated the committee in Abuja, yesterday, challenged the Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Munzali Jibril, to hasten conclusion of the assignment since some members of the new committee were part of the previous committee headed by Dr. Babalakin.
Representative from Federal Ministries of Justice, Budget and National Planning; National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) and a representative from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) are also members.
ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi is leading the team of university based labour unions.
Adamu reminded the team of the enormous task ahead, expressing confidence and strong conviction on their capacity to deliver.
He requested that they work within their terms of reference, which include renegotiation of residual issues in the 2009 agreements between the Federal Government and the university-based unions for a workable and implementable agreement that would facilitate a repositioning of Nigerian universities for greater responsibilities in national development.
“You also are expected to 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; and make other recommendations that would ensure realistic implementation of future agreements,” he said.
Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Jibril, commended government for the confidence and trust reposed in the members, promising to justify it and ensure that glory, quality and pride of tertiary education system in Nigeria is restored.
Meanwhile, Adamu has assured that public universities would soon reopen to students for academic and non academic activities, even though he did not give specific timeline.
He confirmed that substantial progress has been made as regards the demands of ASUU.
“I can report that significant progress has, so far, been recorded and there is an opportunity that our public universities, like their private counterparts, will soon reopen for academic activities. Let me reaffirm the commitment of government to finding lasting solutions to the challenges confronting the education sector, and most especially, the university sub-sector.”