The Federal Government on Monday in Abuja inaugurated a 14-man committee chaired by Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN) to end incessant and protracted strikes in Nigerian tertiary institutions, with a declaration that it does not see the unions as an enemy.
The committee is expected to re-negotiate the 2009 agreement between government, Academic Staff Union of Universities; Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities; National Association of Academic Technologists and Non-Academic Staff Union of Associated and Allied Institutions.
Members of the committee include Prof. Munzali Jibril, Pro chancellor, Federal University, Lafia; Prof. Nimi Briggs, Pro. Chancellor, Federal University, Lokoja; Senator Gbemisola Saraki, Pro chancellor, Federal University, Otuoke; Arc. Lawrence Ngbale, Pro chancellor, Federal University, Birnin Kebbi; Prince Alex Mbata, Pro chancellor, Imo State University, Owerri and Prof. Olufemi Bamiro, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun.
While inaugurating the the committee, the Minister of Education, Malami Adamu Adamu, said the re-negotiation team was significant government was committed to keeping to its promise and ensure an environment that is conducive for learning, teaching, research and community service “engendered through lasting industrial harmony.”
He encouraged the team to undertake the responsibility with patriotism, dedication, mutual trust and selflessness because the future and stake of the university system will be affected by its successes or otherwise.
Adamu said, “Today’s inauguration kick-starts our drive for re-negotiation across the three segments of the tertiary education sub-sector-universities, polytechnics and colleges of education, starting with universities.. Subsequently, the teams of the re-negotiation with the polytechnics and colleges of education, would be constituted as soon as their respective governing councils are put in place”, stated.
“The inauguration of the re-negotiation team is significant as it confirms to the unions that government is committed to keeping its own side of the promise. It wants to ensure that an environment that is conducive for teaching, learning, research and community service is engendered through lasting industrial harmony in all our tertiary institutions.
Babalakin, assured the unions of its commitment towards ensuring that there would be no stalemate between the two parties and pledged that the committee’s objective will be in creating a better educational system.
He said, “A conducive environment in the tertiary institution is the bedrock for the development of a nation’s intelligentsia. A nation’s development can be seriously enhanced by the active participation of the intelligence in the pursuit of the country’ developmental goals.
“We also want to assure you that we intend to rise beyond your expectations for the fourth realms of tertiary education in Nigeria. This task should not be underestimated and with the commitment of all, it could provide a serious enhancement for education in Nigeria.”