The Federal Government through the Honourable Minister of Education (HME), Mallam Adamu Adamu on Monday, reconstituted the 2009 Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) University-based unions Agreements Renegotiation Team comprising Chairman and members; Advisers as well as Observers.
Inaugurating the team headed by the Pro-Chancellor, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike Ikwo, Emeritus Prof. Nimi Briggs as Chairman, Mallam Adamu said their nominations were based on their track records of invaluable impacts to the development and progress of the Nigerian University System (NUS). He expressed confidence and without reservations that the team would dispatch the assignment with every seriousness and urgency it deserved.
In his words: “It is important to state that in the nomination of members of this Committee, the FGN painstakingly selected highly experienced university administrators across the geo-political zones to serve as Chairman and members.
“Relevant university agencies will as usual, serve as Advisers, while selected relevant ministries and agencies will serve as observers,” he stated.
He recalled that the re-negotiation of the 2009 Agreements between the Federal Government and the University-Based Staff Unions (Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU; Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU; National Association of Applied Academic Technologists, NAAT and National Association of Non-Academics of Educational Institutions Staff Union, NASU) commenced on Monday 13th February, 2017. He noted however, that due to a number of unforeseen circumstances, which includes but not limited to the incidence of COVID-19 pandemic, the exercise unfortunately dragged on for up to five years now.
The Minster said that there was no doubt about the earnest desire of all relevant stakeholders in the NUS and the nation at large on the conclusion of the renegotiation within the shortest possible period. He, therefore, specially appealed to the reconstituted committee to double every effort towards concluding the assignment and producing a realistic and workable draft agreement that would holistically tackle the challenges confronting the NUS and reposition it to effectively paly it’s very important role in national development.
He informed the committee that the Federal Government expects them to review the draft copy of the proposed FGN/ ASUU Agreement. He listed the Committee’s Terms of Reference (ToR) to include to:
· Renegotiate in realistic and workable terms the 2009 FGN/University-Based Unions Agreements;
· Negotiate and recommend any other issue the Committee deems relevant to reposition the NUS for global competitiveness; and
· Submit proposed draft agreements within three months from the date of inauguration.
The HME assured the Committee of the maximum support and cooperation of the federal government in the course of their carrying out the important national assignment.
Other members include the Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Wukari, Arc. Lawrence Patrick Ngbale representing (North East); Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Birnin-Kebbi, Prof. Funmi Togunu-Bickersteth(South West); Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Lokoja, Sen. Chris Adighije (South East); Pro-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof. Olu Obafemi (North Central); Pro-Chancellor, Kano State University of Science and Technology, Prof. Zubairu Ilyasu (North West) and Pro-Chancellor, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Barr. Mattew B. Seiyefa, mni, (South South).
Also appointed as Advisers included the Director, University Education, Federal Ministry of Education (FME); Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC); Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund); Chairman, Committee of Vice-Chancellors (CVC); Chairman, Association of Registrars of Nigerian Universities (ARNU) as well as Chairman, Association of Bursars of Nigerian Universities (ABNU).
Those named as observers were Representatives of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment; Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Federal Ministry of Justice; National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission and Federal Character Commission.