The Federal Government on Monday inaugurated a seven-person committee with the responsibility of renegotiating the 2009 agreement it reached with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu at the inauguration of the committee in Abuja, gave the committee three months to conclude the renegotiation of the agreement with the union.
According to the minister, the committee is chaired by the Pro-Chancellor, Alex Ekweme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Emeritus Prof. Nimi Briggs.
Other members are the Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Wukari, Lawrence Ngbale who represents the North-East; and the Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, Prof. Funmi Togunu-Bickersteth, representing the South West.
Also in the team are the Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Lokoja, Sen. Chris Adighije, representing South East; and the Pro-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof. Olu Obafemi from the North-Central.
The rest are the Pro-Chancellor, Kano State University of Science and Technology, Prof. Zubairu Iliyasu, representing the North West; and the Pro-Chancellor, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Mathew Seiyefa from the South-South.
Adamu said that the committee was expected to review the draft proposed federal government/ASUU agreement and submit the report within three months from the date of inauguration.
He said that the committee would liaise and consult with relevant stakeholders to finalise the position of the federal government on the issues in the draft proposed FGN/ASUU Renegotiated Agreement.
He said the committee would also renegotiate in realistic and workable terms, the 2009 agreements with other university-based unions.
The minister further said the committee would negotiate and recommend any other issue it deemed relevant to reposition the Nigerian University System (NUS) for global competitiveness.
” You will recall that the re-negotiation of the 2009 agreements between the Federal Government and the University-Based Staff Unions (ASUU, SSANU, NAAT and NASU) commenced on Monday, Feb.13, 2017.
“However, due to a number of unforeseen circumstances, including but not limited to the COVID-19 pandemic, the exercise has, unfortunately, dragged on till now.
“There is no gain saying that the earnest desire of every stakeholder in the Nigerian University System (NUS) and, indeed, the nation at large is to conclude this re-negotiation within the shortest possible period.
“Therefore, I wish to specially appeal to this committee to double its effort towards concluding the assignment and producing a realistic and workable draft agreements that would tackle the challenges confronting the NUS and reposition it,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that ASUU is currently on a one-month warning strike which commenced on February 14.
The academics are seeking improved welfare, revitalisation of public universities and university autonomy, among other demands. (NAN)