By JOAN NWAGWU
ABUJA- The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to meet with the Prof. Nimi Briggs-led Committee on negotiation.
ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osekede said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
NAN reports that the Briggs committee which was set up by the Federal Government on June 7, is renegotiate the 2009 Agreement with ASUU and submit its report to the Education Minister, Malam Adamu Adamu in three months.
NAN also reports that Buhari had in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, saying “truly, enough is enough for keeping students at home.’’
Osedeke said:”I do not understand why Mr President said that “enough is enough’’, when we are not the one delaying the students at home.
“The federal government had sent its team to negotiate with us and we have finished. Instead of coming back to us to tell us the outcome of the meeting, we are hearing this.
“If you set up a committee to negotiate on your behalf, and the committee has finished and they have brought the information to you to sign and then you said enough is a enough, what does this mean,’’he asked.
He urged Buhari to meet the negotiation teams and to sign the report.
NAN reports that the Briggs-led committee is expected to review the draft proposed FGN/ASUU Agreement, has the following Terms of Reference, liaise and consult with relevant stakeholders to finalise the position of the Federal Government to the issues in the draft proposed FGN/ASUU Renegotiated Agreement.
It is also to renegotiate in realistic and workable terms the 2009 Agreements with other University-Based Unions; negotiate and recommend any other issue the Committee deems relevant to reposition the NUC for global competitiveness; and submit proposed draft agreements within three months from the date of inauguration.
NAN reports that ASUU, among other unions in the education sector began ongoing strike on Feb. 14, after the federal government failed to meet some of its demands including, the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution.
The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and other Allied Institutions (NASU) have also requested the adoption of University Peculiar Payroll Payment System (U3PS).
The committee is chaired by Brigs, Pro-Chancellor, Alex Ekweme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi.
Other members are Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Wukari, Arc. Lawrence Patrick Ngbale, who represents North East; Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, Prof. Funmi Togunu-Bickersteth, representing South West and Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Lokoja, Senator Chris Adighije, representing South East.
Also on the team are Pro-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof. Olu Obafemi from North-Central; Pro-Chancellor, Kano State University of Science & Technology, Prof. Zubairu Iliyasu, representing North West; and Pro-Chancellor, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Mathew Seiyefa from South-South. (NAN)