The Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Federal University of Technology, Minna (FUTMinna) branch, Comrade Abubakar Aliyu, FCIA, has expressed reservations over the make-up of the 2009 renegotiation agreement committee recently reconstituted by the Federal Government.
Specifically, Comrade Aliyu described the reconstituted seven-man committee, which includes four professors; as skewed and relegating the non-teaching staff unions in the university system to the position of mere observers.
He made this known on Friday, March 4, 2022, while responding to questions from journalists. His comments came following the press release issued by the Director, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Education; Mr. Bon. Bem Goong announcing the membership of the reconstituted 2009 renegotiation Academic Staff of Universities’ Unions (ASUU) agreement committee by the Federal Government at the Union’s Secretariat, Main Campus, Gidan Kwano, Minna, Niger State.
The SSANU Chairman stated that the non-teaching staff occupy an enviable position in the scheme of things in the university system and as such, the union must be respected by accommodating it for the substance of industrial peace and harmony across the Federal Government-owned universities.
He disclosed that the four university-based unions independently had an agreement with the Federal Government in 2009 on some germane issues geared towards the development of public universities in the country; adding that the renegotiation committee reconstituted by the Federal Government should address all the unions’ demands: not that of only ASUU.
The Union leader revealed that all the four unions were involved during the renegotiation of the 2001 agreement with the Federal Government in 2009; even as he wondered why the Federal Government is applying a lop-sided discussion strategy this time around.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Federal Government as proprietor of Federal Universities usually set up negotiation and renegotiation teams as part of its efforts to restore peace in the Nigerian University system. The teams are always with one term of reference which is to renegotiate the existing agreement and enter into yet another workable agreement with the Unions.
“Therefore, the University as a system is under no illusion that its success depends largely on Government’s ability to accommodate side by side both teaching and non-teaching staff,” the SSANU Chairman stated.
However, he stated that the members of the newly reconstituted committee would be judged based on their character and conduct.