Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Academic Staff Union of Research Institutions (ASURI) has commended the National Assembly for its determination to give legal framework towards institutionalized funding mechanism for research funding in Nigeria.
ASURI, rising from its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja on Wednesday noted that the National Assembly has been consistent in supporting the Union’s advocacy for a funding agency and renewed its commitment towards the National Research and Innovation Council (NRIC) Bill, which has already passed the Second Reading and Public Hearing at the Senate.
The Union’s NEC mandated its Central Working Committee (CWC) to pursue the passage of the NRIC Bill.
Also, in considering the development agenda of the Federal Government, the council in session demands that Research and Allied institutions be funded in line with global benchmarks.
According to the communique issued by the Union at the end of the one-day meeting, NEC also endorsed the directive of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to affiliate unions, including ASURI, to mobilize support for Labour Party and its candidates during the 2023 elections.
It ratified the appointment of the Caretaker Executive Committee for National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) Branch of ASURI after the expiration of the tenure of the EXCO which was elected in January 2021 in particular and ratified similar administrative action taken concerning other Branches and Chapters of the Union in general.
In the communique, jointly signed by the President and Secretary General of the Union, Dr. Nnamdi Onunka and Professor Theophilus Ndubuaku respectively, ASURI expressed dismay over the reluctance of the Federal Government to implement the agreement signed between it and the staff unions in research and allied institutions despite several negotiations.
Similarly, the Union condemned in clear terms the harsh economic situation in the country and prayed that the issue can be resolved through research and innovation.
The Union observed that the high level of corruption in the country is detrimental to the development agenda of the Federal Government, adding that in this regard, government should as a matter of urgency rejig its enforcing institutions.
The NEC also deliberated on the contemporary issue of the elections as it borders on leadership which has the propensity to drive an inclusive and prosperous economy. It advised its members to be wary on the choice of candidates in the coming elections.
On the appointment of Chief Executives of research and allied institutions, NEC demanded that government should follow laid down guidelines as stipulated in the Conditions of Service for research institutions.
The Council also considered the implementation of the Oransaye report on streamlining of research institutes as counter-productive as they serve as instrument for government policies and play advisory roles for the developmental needs of Nigeria.
NEC urged government to prevail on the relevant authorities to compel them on the release of the Conditions of Service and Scheme of Service for an improved research environment.
The Council condemned in clear terms the continued interference of Chief Executives in the affairs of in-house unions in a coy to prevent them from organizing themselves in other to push for a better welfare in accordance with International Labour Conventions.
NEC mandated the CWC to declare Trade Dispute with the Management of Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) immediately after the end of the on-going JORAISU strike for unfriendly labour practices.
Finally, NEC resolved to postpone its National Delegates Conference (NDC), which is supposed to hold in the last quarter of 2022, to June 2023 in view of electioneering campaigns towards 2023 general elections.
The meeting received reports from the Secretariat, which included briefs on the suspension of the Union’s strike, the on-going strike of the Joint Research and Allied Sector Unions (JORAISU), the resumption of negotiations with the Federal Government on the Unions’ demands, update on the National Research and Innovation Council (NRIC) Bill, as well as the extent of compliance with the new Conditions of Service for Federal Research and Development Agencies, Institutes and Colleges (COS 2019), indebtedness of IPPIS to ASURI and Branch issues, among others.
The meeting took place at ALGOS Suites and Hotel, Byazhin Road, opposite Railway Station, Kubwa, FCT.
The National Executive Council of ASURI is made up of all National Officers, the immediate past President, the Secretary General, as well as the Chairmen and Secretaries of the various member branches or any person sent by the branch to represent the Chairman or the Secretary.