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ASUU Strike imminent as they rejects Babalakin-led renegotiation team

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities on Tuesday rejected Dr Wale Babalakin as Chairman of the Government Renegotiating Team of the 2009 ASUU/Federal Government of Nigeria Agreement .
The union said the renegotiation had collapsed over the alleged arrogance of Babalakin, who was said to have made a mockery of the renegotiation process .

ASUU at the end of its three – day National Executive Council meeting , which held at the University of Calabar in Cross River State, said anything could happen if nothing was done about a letter it had already written to the Minister of Education over the development .

The National President of ASUU, Prof . Biodun Ogunyemi , described Babalakin as a stumbling block in the renegotiation process .

He said , “ Recall that in January 2017 , the NEC meeting of ASUU held at Bayero University , Kano , welcomed the reconstitution of the government renegotiation team to enter into a renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU/ FGN Agreement , which was long overdue .

“ The renegotiation commenced in March 2017 . At the inauguration of the committee, the Minister of Education declared that he expected the renegotiation to be completed within six weeks . Since then , for over 14 months , our union has had a series of negotiation meetings but it has been a fruitless exercise .

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“ The Chairman of the Government Renegotiating Team, Dr Wale Babalakin, has constituted himself into a stumbling block in the process of the renegotiation . He has arrogantly exhibited the I – know -it -all attitude and also conducted himself as a judge , instead of a negotiator .

“ With unwarranted arrogance , he has disregarded the cardinal principles of collective bargaining , deliberately slowed the process and made a mockery of the core tenets of industrial democracy . He has arrogated to himself the power to decide matters that should be collectively debated , analysed, and agreed upon by the two parties .

“ He has also consistently attempted to substitute core constitutional provisions of Nigeria on education , including university education , by market principles of trading in and purchasing higher education , putting Nigerian children in debt in order to acquire higher education . This situation is not acceptable to the union .

“ ASUU has tried through several entreaties to make him see reason and return to the path of collective bargaining and respect for the constitutional provisions on education to no avail . Since March 2017 , a period of over fourteen ( 14 ) months, the discussion has hovered only on funding and Babalakin’ s insistence that a tuition regime must be introduced into the public universities in Nigeria . ”

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He said NEC took reports on the status of the implementation of the September 2017 FGN / ASUU Memorandum of Action and the FGN / ASUU renegotiation which commenced in March 2017 and resolved to condemn in strong terms the Federal Government ’ s failure to faithfully implement many items on the 2017 MoA .

The NEC also approved the decision of the ASUU team to withdraw from the re -negotiation of the 2009 FGN / ASUU Agreement as a result of Babalakin’ s insistence on the commercialisation of tertiary education in the country .

They also resolved to update ASUU members on the failure of the government to keep its promises on the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN / ASUU Agreement and September , 2017 MoA and meet in due course to consider the next line of action .

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