Saturday, 24 August 2013

Return to class, FG urges varsity lacturers



Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim
The Federal Government on Friday appealed to striking university lecturers to return to work, saying a resolution to the 54-day strike was under way.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, made the appeal in Abuja during a meeting between government’s representatives and Chairmen of Governing Councils of both federal and state universities.
Anyim, who read out a number of agreements held between government and executives of the Academic Staff Union of Universities since the commencement of the strike, said the Federal Government had shown enough commitment to ending the impasse.
He said that the lecturers were being inconsiderate with their demands.
Anyim’s reaction, however, came on the heels of recent threat by ASUU to discontinue further deliberations with the Federal Government’s negotiation team.
ASUU began its current strike on July 1, 2013 following the failure of the government to implement a 2009 agreement on public universities funding.
Anyim said, “Government is making every effort to revitalise the university system by this demonstration of clear commitment to revitalise the university system. Government hereby urges every staff of the nation’s universities to return to work as all issues are being resolved.”
The SGF also inaugurated the disbursement of N130 bn sourced by the Gabriel Suswam-led NEEDS implementation committee and the Federal Government for revitalising infrastructures within the university system and settlement of earned allowances arrears.
Anyim said most of the issues contained in the 2009 agreement, which necessitated the current strike had been fully met except for the earned allowances which ASUU pegged at N92bn.
He said, “On July 2, 2013, ASUU declared what it called, total and indefinite strike over issues it says have remained unresolved pertaining to an agreement it reached with government in 2009.
“It is pertinent to narrate the genesis of the 2009 agreement; ASUU went on strike action in 2006 based on their request for a review of personnel matters; on account of this, government initiated a NEEDS Assessment of the University System comprising federal and states universities, the negotiations led to the 2009 agreement.
“Some of these issues bothered on amendment of pensionable retirement age of academics in the professorial cadre, Consolidated Peculiar Allowances.”

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