The Federal Government yesterday inaugurated a seven-member committee to re-negotiate the 2009 agreement between the government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
But the union did not send a representative to attend the meeting.
ASUU President Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke said the union had no business attending the meeting as it was expected to renegotiate agreements between the government and university-based unions.
In 2020, former ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, attended the inauguration of the panel, chaired by Prof. Munzali Jibril, which produced the draft proposal of the 2009 agreement in May last year.
The union is insisting that the Federal Government must sign the agreement.
The new government team inaugurated yesterday is chaired by Prof. Emeritus Nimi Briggs, Pro-Chancellor of Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo in Ebonyi State.
Other members of the team are: Lawrence Patrick Ngbale (Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Wukari, representing the Northeast); Prof. Funmi Togunu-Bickersteth (Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, representing the Southwest; Senator Chris Adighije (Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Lokoja, representing the Southeast); Prof. Olu Obafemi (Pro-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna, representing the Northcentral); Prof. Zubairu Iliyasu (Pro-Chancellor, Kano State University of Science & Technology, representing the Northwest) and Matthew B. Seiyefa (Pro-Chancellor, Niger Delta University on Wilberforce Island, representing the Southsouth).
Inaugurating the panel, Education Minister Adamu Adamu urged the members to come up with proposed draft agreements within three months from the date of inauguration.
The minister regretted that the re-negotiation of the 2009 agreements between the Federal Government and the university-based workers’ unions had stalled because of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
The committee, which is expected to review the draft proposed FGN/ASUU Agreement, has the following Terms of Reference:
- Liaise and consult with relevant stakeholders to finalise the position of the Federal Government to the issues in the draft proposed FGN/ASUU Renegotiated Agreement;
- Renegotiate in realistic and workable terms the 2009 Agreements with other University-Based Unions;
- Negotiate and recommend any other issue the committee deems relevant to reposition the NUS for global competitiveness; and
- Submit proposed draft agreements within three months from the date of inauguration.
Adamu assured the committee of Federal Government’s maximum support and cooperation in the course of “this important national assignment”.