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House Urge FG To Honour Agreement With University Unions

Source: SAINT MUGAGA, THEWILL. - thewillnigeria.com
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ABUJA, July 12, (THEWILL) - The House of Representatives today advised the Federal government to continue to dialogue with three University Unions over an agreement reached in 2009 on allowances and the 65 years retirement age for their members.

The unions are, Non-Academic Staff of Universities (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSNU) and the National Association of Technologists (NAAT).

This advice was given following a resolution emanating from a motion by Hon. Ismail Hussain (PDP-Kogi) calling on the House to intervene in the misunderstanding between government and the unions to avoid another strike that would lead to the closure of schools.

While leading the debate, Hussain submitted that a strike would impact negatively on the students in particular and the country in general adding that the planned industrial action would disrupt the academic calendar and as well elongate the mandatory one year youth service programme.

According to him, as a result of the constant closure of Nigerian Universities occasioned by strike, they have not been rated among the first 200 universities in the world.

He said that the planned strike by university workers should be taken seriously to avert a state of insecurity in our citadels of learning.

In his support for the motion, the Minority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila (ACN-Lagos), said that non-implementation of agreements by government has become a recurrent decimal in the country and needed to be corrected.

He argued that there was a need to make a law that would designate the teaching profession as a professional one stressing that the House should direct government to obey the agreement reached with the unions.

Also contributing, Hon. Uzor Azubuike (PDP-Abia) said the frequent reneging of government on agreements reached with labour unions required indepth and lasting solutions.

He advised the House to look beyond immediate response to the problem and blamed government for not taking proactive measures to avert strikes.

In supporting the motion, Hon. Emmanuel Jime (PDP-Benue) said the House should prevail on the Executive to implement the terms of the agreement it entered with the unions.

Others who supported the motion were Hon. Mustapha Khabeeb (PDP-Jigawa) who said that government should learn to honour agreement entered into. “We should ask who is not honouring the agreement.” The rest were Hon. Abubakar Momoh (ACN-Edo) Hon. Patrick Ikhariale (PDP-Edo) and Hon. Henry Dickson (PDP-Bayelsa).

The motion was however opposed by Hon. Abike Dabiri (ACN-Lagos) who said that the motion would not achieve its aim. Others who opposed it were Hons. Nkoyo Toyo (PDP-Cross River), Arua Arunsi (PDP-Abia), Austine Ogbaburum (PDP-Delta), Sani Ibrahim(CPC-Kaduna ), Godfrey Gaiya (PDP-Kaduna) and Adams Jagaba (PDP-Kaduna).

Recall that the Unions are threatening to embark on work-to-rule action over the failure of government to implementation the 2009 collective agreement between them and government on allowances and 65 years retirement age.