FG happy ASUU calls off strike, vows to implement demands

By The Citizen

The Federal Government yesterday expressed happiness that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called off its almost six months old strike.

FG has also inaugurated 14-member Monitoring Committee on the implementation of the Needs Assessment of Nigerian Universities, chaired by the Supervising Minister of Education Nyesom Wike.

The committee is a formalise structure that will work to uphold the renewed confidence between ASUU and the Federal Government.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, said the committee was strategic and timely to consolidate and add new energy to the speedy and complete implementation of the recommendations of the Committee on Needs Assessment of Nigerian Universities.

He said this would hasten the process embarked upon to revamp and reposition the nation’s education sector.

Anyim charged the committee members to remain very patrotic and approach the assignment with zeal and seriousness it deserves.

He also charged them to ensure value-for-money, as well as insist on complete and faithful implementation of the programmes and projects in the Needs Assessment Report.

The SGF further charged the University Councils and Management to ensure that the Monitoring Committee is not in any way hindered from carrying out this important national duty.

He also called on ASUU and all university based unions to reflect on the time lost on account of the strike and endeavour to make sure that the nation regain the time lost.

Anyim recalled the December 14th, 2006 inaugurated of the Sule Kano’s FGN/ASUU Re-Negotiation Committee which led to the signing of December 19th, 2009 agreementĀ  with the Academic Staff Union of Universities

He said in the five month strike embarked upon which was called off yesterday, ASUU drew particular attention to the funding requirements for Re-Vitalising the University system; Progressive increase of budgetary allocation to the Education Sector; Transfer of FGN landed properties to the universities; amendment of retirement age of professors from 65-70 years; as well as the issue of earned allowances.

In his acceptance remarks, Wike said with the inauguration of the committee, government has fulfiled one of the promises made that will look into the implementation of the needs the universities.

He assured that the work will be done diligently because Nigerians were interested in how the funds was going to be utilised, adding, “we will carry out the assignment diligently and effectively”.

The first inaugural meeting took place yesterday at the Education Ministry.

Some of the members are representative of the SGF, Finance, NUC, TERTFUND, two representatives of Pro-chancellors and two representatives of Vice Chancellors, two representatives of ASUU, two representatives of SAANU, two representatives of NASU, two representatives of NANS and Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, former Executive Secretary of TERTFUND, as technical consultant.