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Govt, ASUU resume renegotiation of 2009 agreement next Monday

The Federal Government and Academic Staff of Union of Universities (ASUU) would on Monday, 18thFebruary resume the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement.

According to the Memorandum of Action (MoA) agreed upon at the end of the conciliation meeting between representatives of Federal Government and (ASUU), the meeting is scheduled to hold between the 7thFebruary and March 29th2019.

Speaking to the call for a reconstitution of the government renegotiating team, the agreement pointed at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) principles, which prohibit imposition on a negotiation team.

The agreement added: “It was agreed that, based on ILO principles, neither the Government nor the Union can dictate who is to represent the other party at the negotiating table. It was further noted that the principle of equality of the parties in collective bargaining is a fundamental principle of the ILO, which must be respected by both parties. PSE agreed to provide documented guidelines on procedures and to clearly define the roles of parties in the re-negotiation process. It was then agreed that the renegotiation of the FGN-ASUU 2009 Agreement shall commence not later than Monday, 18th February 2019 and be concluded by Friday, 29th March 2019.”

Government stressed it would release the sum of N25 billion in the period April/May 2019, as a sign of good faith.

It added that would resume full implementation of the MoU following the activation of the recommendations of the report of the stakeholders’ workshop on Sustainable Funding for Education in Nigeria, 27th-28th November 2018.

According to the agreement, N20 billion had earlier been approved by government to defray part of the outstanding arrears of earned allowances in Nigerian Universities.

Government said it had added Five N5 billion making a total sum of N25 billion as part-payment of earned allowances to all categories of eligible staff.

The initial N20 billion would be released not later than 15th February 2019, while the remaining N5 billion would be paid by 28th February 2019.

The said sum will be considered as the first tranche of payment, guided by the report of the forensic audit.

Government agreed to pay the outstanding balance up to 2018 in four (4) equal instalments within a time frame of 36 months – November 2019, August 2020, May 2021, and February 2022.

Government shall also mainstream further payments of the allowances into the annual budgets beginning with the 2019 budget presently under consideration at the National Assembly (NASS).

The Consultative Committee on State-Owned Universities, set up to look into the issues of proliferation, underfunding and governance was expanded to nine members and would be inaugurated on Monday, 14th January 2019.

Membership of the Committee was drawn from ASUU, SSANU, NAAT, NASU, COPSUN, NUC, Federal Ministry of Education and Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

The agreement said arrangements for the Visitation Panels have been concluded and the approved list of members is in the process of being gazetted, adding that due to the forthcoming elections, a tentative date for the commencement of the visitation has been fixed for 11th March 2019.

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