The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu on Wednesday
reconstituted the Federal Government team for the renegotiation of the 2009
agreements between the Federal Government of and University-based unions,
as approved by the President Muhammadu Buhari .
It would be recalled that 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.
Adamu, while inaugurating the team in Abuja said that though most of residual issues were part of the comprehensive agreement reached with the previous administration, significant progress had been recorded.
According to him, there is an opportunity that our public universities, like their private counterparts, will soon reopen for academic activities.
” Let me re-affirm the commitment of the present administration to finding
lasting solutions to the challenges confronting the education sector, and most
especially, the university sub-sector.
” Government is determined to, within available resources, provide the requisite environment, infrastructure as well as improve the conditions of service for all categories of staff in Nigerian 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.
” All these have impacted negatively on
our learning outcomes and the reputation of the Nigerian brand, which hitherto
was the pride of the nation.”
Adamu said that the Federal Government team was expected to take another look at the 2009 agreements reached with the university-based unions and work with each union towards making
far-reaching recommendations that would reposition the Nigerian university
He explained that it became necessary and urgent that all hands must be on
deck to restore the confidence reposed in university education by students, parents and the general public.
He said that the terms of reference of the team were to
re-negotiate the residual issues in the 2009 agreements towards a workable and implementable agreement between both parties that
would facilitate a repositioning of universities for greater
responsibilities in national development.
” The team will require 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 in the Nigerian university system.
“Make any other recommendations, as may be necessary, to ensure the
realistic implementation of future agreements, by all stakeholders,” he said.
He urged them to put their best in making any recommendations, given the
full implications of such actions to the funding and management of university
education in the foreseeable future.
The Federal Government Team which is led by Prof. Emeritus Munzali Jibril, Former Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC) while the members include Dr. Nimota Akanbi, Pro-Chancellor, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa
University, Bauchi, Prof. Nimi Briggs, Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Ndufu Alike, Ikwo.
Others are Mr Lawrence Ngbale, Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Wukari, Prof Femi Odekunle, Pro-Chancellor, FUT, Minna, Senator Nkechi Nworgu, Pro-Chancellor, University of Calabar, Prof. Shehu Abdullahi, Pro-Chancellor, Kaduna State University.
Also in the team are Maj. Gen. Mamman Magoro, Pro-Chancellor, Kebbi State University, Bimin Kebbi.
Among the advisers are: Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
Others are 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) and others.
Responding, Prof. Munzali Jibril, Chairman of the renegotiation team pledged the team’s readiness to swing into action to deliver the assignment within the short possible time.
He urged the unions to work together with the team to achieve a common goal.