And Joseph Erunke
ABUJA – The Federal Government approved the constitution of Visiting Panels to supervise the activities of all Federal Universities in the country.
This was revealed yesterday by the Executive Secretary of the National Commission of Universities, NUC, Prof. Abubakar Abdulraheed, at the Second Quadrennial Conference of National Delegates of the Association of Higher Personnel of Universities of Nigeria, SSANU, with the theme “Respect the sanitary of collective bargaining in democracy ”, In Abuja.
The head of the NUC said that Education Minister Mallam Adamu Adamu had obtained the approval of President Muhammadu Buhari to send visiting panels to all public universities in the country, adding that the constitution of visiting panels was adequate already that was in line with the laws. that stipulate visits to public universities once every five years.
He said the respective soon-to-be-launched panels were expected to tour the universities and bring back a ten-year report, in two separate batches of five years each.
According to him, “The report will cover a period from 2011-2015 and from 2016 to 2020.”
The head of the NUC, who lamented that the incessant strikes by various unions in tertiary education were affecting the advancement of the university system, called for the unification of all unions within the university system into a single body.
“The polarization of the university system, where each one of the unions presents their individual demands to the Federal Government, is creating bottlenecks for the government to agree to their demands.
“This is Nigerian university education that cannot academically match its peers abroad,” he said.
Abdulraheed also added that talks were underway to convince the leaders of the Nigerian Labor Congress, NLC, to invite all unions to a round table, to see the reasons why they should be under one umbrella.
He said the four unions under the university system include the University Academic Personnel Union (ASUU), the University Non-Academic Personnel Union (NASU), the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and the Association of Higher University Personnel. of Nigeria (SSANU).
He said that unions needed to enter into negotiations with the government by mutual agreement, rather than a segmented approach.
According to him, it is unfortunate that most of the time the government and individual unions work in negotiations for better welfare packages for staff to the detriment of students.
“No university in the world can operate effectively in isolation, it is frustrating that the university system in Nigeria has been polarized by various unions, you have NAAT, ASUU, SSANU, all negotiating for different things.
“Most of the time, while one group is negotiating with the government, others warn of the strike unless their demands are met,” he said.
Abdulrasheed also said that the federal government has reconstituted an eight-member committee to harmonize and finalize existing agreements between the government and the unions.
He said the need arose after the resignation of Wale Babalakin as chairman of the university renegotiation committee.
He also noted that the appointment letters will be delivered to the designated individuals on Tuesday or Wednesday of this week.
Also speaking, the president of the Nigerian Labor Congress, NLC, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, said that the theme of the delegates’ conference was appropriate.
Wabba urged governments to maintain negotiations and collective bargaining initiated with various unions as a way to ensure industrial harmony in the country.