…To arbitrate between FG, Union
The Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) says it has set up a sustainable peace team to resolve the lingering
impasse between President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
A former Secretary General of CVCNU, Michael Faborode, and the co-coordinator of the team, confirmed this on Tuesday through a document termed; ‘The Sustainable Peace Team Working Paper.’
He explained that the team’s desire was not to allow the current deadlock in the ASUU strike negotiations to take hold, as the toll of the strike on all stakeholders and the nation had been colossal.
According to him, to arrive at the final list, no serving vice-chancellor or pro-chancellor was included; and that membership was based on the record of service as recorded by the CVCNU.
He further stated that the team comprised a former vice-chancellor of the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), Professor Jubril Aminu; former University of Ibadan vice-chancellor, Olufemi Bamiro; the president of the Academy of Science, Ekanem Braide; and former pro-chancellor of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), Nkechi Nwagogu, among others.
“We should not fold our hands and watch our ‘house’ collapse on us as elders. So, we should speak or act now. We do not have any other
industry other than the university system.
“Whatever can be done to bring all the actors to reason and broker peace, using the Professor Nimi Briggs-led committee’s recommendations
as the fulcrum, will be worth the effort,” he said.
Mr Faborode said the ‘Peace Team of Elders’ would operate under the auspices of the CVCNU/CPC.
According to him, the Muhammadu Buhari-led government and ASUU were contacted to accept the intervention of the independent team of elders.
“The team will liaise with the Professor Nimi Briggs-led committee to understand the basis of the elements of their proposals and check with both the Federal Government and ASUU to identify the areas of concern and objection.
“Afterwards, the team will brainstorm on how to mitigate the thorny areas and work with all the parties to bring the imbroglio to amicable
end in the interest of all concerned and the nation,” he added.
These, he said, included the regime raising its offer of salary increase from 23 per cent to “maybe 50 per cent that will ensure a professor receives up to N800,000 monthly, as opposed to the negotiated N1.2 million.
“Also, the review of the decision on salaries during strike to a mid-position, neither zero per cent nor 100 per cent, as ASUU wants.
How can we further this admonition to both sides?”
“Fundamentally, the following facts should be noted: the subsisting condition of Nigerian higher education is unacceptable and inconsistent with the economic development roles envisaged for them.
“Things have been allowed to deteriorate for too long,” he said.