ASUU calls on govt. to address outstanding issues

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By Uche Bibilari

The Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU), National Executive Council (NEC) on Tuesday called on the Federal and State Governments to address all outstanding issues with the union.

Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, President, ASUU said this in Abuja while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the ASUU-NEC meeting held at Obefemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife between May 11 to May 12.

Osodeke said that the union had rejected all the ongoing illegalities and flagrant violation of university autonomy in public universities as a result of non-reinstatement and reconstitution of governing councils.

He said that NEC observed with dismay the continued erosion of autonomy of public universities, contrary to the provisions of the Universities Miscellaneous Act (1993, 2012).

He said, “The dissolution of Governing Councils by the present administration has paved way for all manner of illegalities in the Nigerian University System.

“University administrations now place advertisements for the appointment of Vice-Chancellor without authorisation from the appropriate quarters – the Governing Councils.

“Outgoing Vice-Chancellors, working in cahoots with the Federal and State Ministries of Education, are illegally running the universities on daily basis.

“They routinely usurp the powers of governing councils to recruit and discipline staff as well as manage university finances in manners bereft of transparency and accountability.”

He said that for the past 11 months universities were being run without a governing council which had given room to all sorts of illegalities in the universities system.

Osodeke said the union undertook a dispassionate and comprehensive review of the status of its engagements with Federal and State Governments on how to reposition Nigeria’s public universities for global reckoning and competitiveness.

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The president also said that the meeting took a critical look at the worsening living and working conditions in universities and the nation at large.

“The meeting received alarming reports on the failed promises of the Federal and State governments towards addressing the lingering issues that forced the union to embark on the nationwide strike of February-October 2022.

“As our union has consistently stated, salary awards are no substitutes for a negotiated agreement.

“Each negotiated Agreement between the Federal Government of Nigeria and ASUU is a comprehensive package that captures not the just salary component.

“But also a gamut of requirements for benchmarking a competitive university system designed for addressing the developmental challenges of Nigeria.

“ASUU’s demand for negotiated salary and other conditions of service is anchored on the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) Convention No. 98 which underscores the principle of collective bargaining.

“The last FGN/ASUU Agreement was in 2009. Consequent upon the union’s advocacy spanning almost one decade, our union went into the renegotiation with the FGN as in 2017,” he said.

Osodeke said that NEC shall reconvene after two weeks from the date of the NEC meeting to review the situation and take a decisive action to address the issues.
On the issue of the indefinite strike in university of Abuja, he said they were fully in support of the action. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

Edited by Benson Iziama and Abiemwense Moru

 

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