Secretary to the Federal Government, Anyim Pius Anyim, has stated that contrary to the claims by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Federal Government has demonstrated commitment to the implementation of the 2009 FG/ASUU agreement.
In a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Media, Sam Nwaobasi, he said the Federal Government was fully committed to ending the ongoing strike and bringing students back to school. He however, stated that many of the issues in the 2009 agreement, which ASUU had with the Federal Government and which it claimed were still unresolved, had been resolved.
Among the contentious issues, according to the statement, were the rent approved by the government and the consolidated salary structure for non teaching staff.
These, he said had been fully implemented as all teaching and non-teaching staff had been on the consolidated salary structure since 2009. Another issue was the amendment of the pensionable retirement age of academics in the professional cadre, as professors now retire at 65 instead of 60 years.
He stated: “Besides the issue of retirement age and consolidated salary structure, the government has always assisted state universities through the federal intervention agencies, and the present special revitalization programme covers both state and federal universities.
“On the issue of the transfer of landed property to universities, the government has made it clear that it cannot transfer landed property to ASUU because it has no structure to manage or maintain such property. Government is however, willing to support any university that sets up a property company with management structure to compete with others in the industry.
“There was also the consensus that revitalizing the tertiary institutions is of critical importance to the nation. ASUU, therefore agreed with the government to jointly undertake a NEEDS assessment of the universities with a view to harnessing all the funding that hitherto goes into the system in a haphazard manner. The NEEDS Committee that was set up has completed its work and the report has been approved by the Federal Executive Council and the President has approved N100 billion for the committee’s disbursement.