We want to renegotiate 2009 agreement – ASUU to FG

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), is set to renegotiate the 2009 agreement with the Federal Government.

It was gathered that the government has set up a team to dialogue with staff unions in universities, polytechnics and Colleges of Education based on the principle of collective bargaining

This was revealed by ASUU president, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi.

He stated that the union will disagree with the FG’s team, if what they offered did not meet the demands of the university lecturers.

ASUU also criticized President Muhammadu Buhari’s foreign medical trips and described them as a reflection of government’s neglect of public institutions in Nigeria.

“We are anxiously waiting for the government to inaugurate its negotiating team because it is going to be a full regime of renegotiation.

“They will invite us when they do that. We believe that they are still perfecting their procedures,” Ogunyemi said.

Asked if ASUU has confidence in the government’s renegotiating team, Ogunyemi said the union was waiting.

He said: “Like I said, we don’t want to jump the process by expressing opinions that will look prejudicial.

“We want that process to commence. If they give us what we like, we will work together. But if they don’t give us what we like, we will take them on.

“We have our own procedure for engaging government. We have done it on a number of occasions, way back since 1992 when we signed the first agreement with government.

“So, the documents we are reviewing are products of this procedure. We always engage government because we believe in the principle of collective bargaining.

“So, it is the principle of collective bargaining that is guiding and driving us. We will see what they will bring to the table and we will also present our own position.”

Ogunyemi also flayed Buhari’s medical trips abroad, despite the huge amount allocated to health facilities at the State House.

“If you come to think of it, billions of naira are allocated to health facilities at the State House. It is rather unfortunate that with all that, he (the President) can still not get the best of healthcare here.

“He will not be the first public figure to seek treatment abroad. Other senior government officials have been flown out in recent times,” Ogunyemi added.

“So, we believe that the solution to this so-called medical tourism is for government to fix the facilities in the country, not just for the public, but also for themselves and we can save huge sums of money in the process.

“We have always observed in the educational sector that in the search for the best, we must be conscious of the fact that there was a time we were counted among the best.

“If you talk about education, there was a time when we attracted students who came to study in Nigerian universities. No school can do that now.

“We can also develop our health institutions such that our country can become a centre for medical tourism. We have what it takes. The only thing lacking is the political will. But ASUU will continue to engage government until they do the correct thing”, he added.

 

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