Sambo Takes over Negotiation with ASUU

Sambo Takes over Negotiation with ASUU
20 Sep 2013
Vice-President, Alhaji Namadi Sambo
Jaiyeola Andrews and Damilola Oyedele
The Vice-President, Alhaji Namadi Sambo, Thursday took over the negotiation with the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), in a move to end the lingering strike by the union.
The new development was the outcome of the deliberations between Sambo and ASUU’s delegation held behind closed doors in the State House for about two hours last night.
At the end of the meeting between the vice-president and representatives of ASUU, the contending parties refused to reveal details of the discussions, hence leaving journalists to guess if the meeting was fruitful or not.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, ASUU president, Nasir Isa Fagge, noted that the union needed to discuss their meeting with their members and get back to the government.
Asked to assure Nigerians on early resolution of the crisis, Fagge insisted that as a good messenger, he would only report back to the larger ASUU body.
He also refused to divulge the details of government’s fresh offer.
Also speaking, supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, assured Nigerians that students would soon return to school as government was ready to make sure all the contending issues are resolved as soon as possible.
Others in the meeting include former ASUU presidents, Dr. Dipo Fasina and Dr. Abdullahi Sule-Kano.
Also in attendance were the Vice-Chancellors of Bayero University Kano (BUK), University of Ibadan (UI) and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Bauchi, Profs. Abdulrasheed Abubakar, Isaac Adewole and Muhammed Hamisu Muhammed.
The Excutive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie was also at the meeting.
Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam’s committee had been in charge of the negotiations since the beginning of the strike about three months ago with ASUU.
Meanwhile, the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Nigerian Federal Universities (CPC) has appealed to ASUU to end the strike and return to the classrooms.
The committee, composed by Chairman of Governing Councils, said the government had shown commitment to the causes pursued by the union by sourcing funds for the disbursement of N130 billion for infrastructure and payment of earned allowances of the lecturers.
In a communique issued at the end of its meeting in Abuja to deliberate on the lingering strike, the CPC said it had received the assurances of President Goodluck Jonathan to provide the balance of the shortfall of the earned allowances if any, only after due verification by councils on those entitled to the allowances.
The communique issued yesterday and signed by the Chairman of the CPC, Prof. Kimse Okoko, added that the government had promised to consistently make budgetary and non-budgetary funds for the revitalisation of the universities from 2014.
“However, and as we all know, appropriation of funds fall within the purview of the National Assembly and that is where we all, including ASUU will have to appeal to, to ensure that adequate funds are appropriated,”it read.
It listed the issues in the 2009 FG/ASUU Agreement, which have already been addressed.

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