Vice Chancellors Committee sues ASUU over threat of strike


The Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities has appointed the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) because of the threat of another strike round.

However, Vice Chancellors announced that the government has a funding gap of N221 billion a year from 2018 to 2021, up from N884 billion over the past four years.

This was announced by the Chairman of the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, Professor Samuel Edoumiekumo, at a commitment meeting with the management of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

He called on the federal and state governments to break the unrest that has been going on for more than 30 years in the circles of the university trade unions.

Edoumiekumo, while insisting on a consistent academic calendar, noted that Nigeria’s public universities worldwide and regionally would not take pride of place if the country could not guarantee its academic timetables.

A statement signed on Monday in Abuja by CVC General Secretary Yakubu Ochefu on Monday said Edoumiekumo would address some issues affecting higher education in Nigeria on Friday 17th.

Former ASUU presidents such as Dipo Fasina, Nasir Fagge, Biodun Ogunyemi and other members of the National Executive Committee attended the meeting, also discussed issues related to the ongoing problem with unions over the Integrated Payroll Information System (IPPIS) and the poor state limits of security on the university campus.

The CVCNU chair at the meeting looked at some of the current challenges, including the very poor funding of public universities, leaving a gap of N221 billion annually from 2018 to 2021.

Edoumiekumo, accompanied by General Secretary Professor Yakubu Ochefu, officially congratulated Prof. Osodeke on his appearance as National President and, on behalf of the General Assembly of Nigerian Vice Chancellors, wished him every success.

He recognized the tremendous efforts ASUU has made over the years to advocate the repositioning of higher education in Nigeria.

He stated that as a key stakeholder in the Nigerian university system, it is important that both parties meet from time to time to discuss local and global best practices in university education, innovative ways of addressing and tackling challenges, and deep reflection on the future of the university to discuss Nigerian university system.

“The Chairman looked at some of the current challenges, including the very poor funding of public universities, leaving a gap of 221 billion naira annually from 2018 to 2021; Problems in connection with the implementation of IPPIS at federal universities; University autonomy and the presence of several conflicting laws; the current status of the agreements of the FG / university trade unions; the ongoing problem with unions at IPPIS; and the poor security status on the university campus, ”the statement said.

Federal and state governments would have to take the bull by the horn in order to break through the unrest in the university unions that has been going on for more than 30 years by thinking of creative solutions and politically deciding to implement them.

He affirmed that Nigerian public universities worldwide and regionally would not have pride of place if we could not guarantee basic things like an academic calendar.

The Chair presented ASUU with a report prepared by CVCNU on the “2022 State Budget Review How It Will Affect Nigerian Federal Universities,” highlighting some of the considerations in addressing funding challenges in Nigerian universities.

Professor Edoumiekumo informed the national president during the meeting that in order to combat plagiarism and promote originality in academic research, the Committee of Vice Chancellors had developed EagleScan software to detect plagiarism.

He stated that like the University Transparency Accountability Software, UTAS, Eaglescan was developed by CVCNU in collaboration with the ICT directors of six Nigerian universities and is now fully ready for roll out in all Nigerian universities.

The chairman of CVCNU also notified ASUU of the draft of a model intellectual policy for Nigerian universities, developed in collaboration with the Nigerian Copyright Commission, and called for input from ASUU before the final draft is submitted to universities in 2022.

ASUU National President Professor Osodeke thanked the CVCNU leadership for initiating the meeting and expressed the Union’s desire to work with all real actors who add value and make our universities better.

He complained that there had been a rift in the relationship between CVCNU and ASUU recently, but enjoyed the meeting, which he hoped would help build a closer bond.

He noted all of the questions raised by the CVCNU chairman and said that an appropriate response would be sent to the committee in due course.

He looked forward to a meeting of both bodies in the first quarter of 2022 to discuss the more general issues raised by the CVCNU.

In his opinion, Vice Chancellors were very critical stakeholders in the university system, but over the years many of them have seen their roles and powers being eroded by third parties and becoming political officials rather than university administrators.

He expressed concern about the politicization of the appointment of Vice Chancellors and how, in some cases, the decision of who becomes a VC is limited to the local government of the state where the university is located.

He expressed his deep appreciation for the meeting and looked forward to the collaboration of both organizations to reposition Nigerian universities in these volatile, unstable, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) times.

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Vice Chancellors Committee sues ASUU over threat of strike


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