Senate appeals to ASUU to call off strike

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Senate President, Bukola Saraki

The Senate has appealed to the
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to call off its ongoing
strike in the interest of the students and Nigerians in general. Sen. Jibrin Barau, Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND, made the appeal while addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.
He
said that while the senate sympathised with the union, its members
should call off the strike while negotiating with the Federal Government
towards finding lasting solution to the problem.

Barau
said the Senate, in a letter sent to it by ASUU, learnt that part of
the grievance was lack of confidence in the committee set up by the
federal government to re-negotiate the 2009 agreement.
The
lawmaker recalled that when the union declared warning strike earlier
this year, the Senate intervened and ensured that the problem did not
linger.
He said that ASUU did not report
back to the senate on the difficulties it had in the re-negotiation with
the committee before embarking on the strike.
He
urged the union to re-consider its position and return to the
re-negotiation to save the students, parents and the entire nation the
negative effects that would result from the action.
Barau
assured that the committee would monitor the settlement process between
ASUU and the committee set up by the Federal Government to ensure
amicable resolution of the problem.
He said: “Let me say that we are very concerned about what is happening in our universities.
“The
Senate and indeed, the National Assembly, has been in the forefront of
making sure that we act swiftly whenever it is necessary to nip in the
bud any problem that is rearing its head.
“I
want to say that it was the reason why we decided to intervene
immediately when the warning strike action was about to take place and
we did all our best to bring the two teams together to negotiate.
“That was what led to the setting up of the Wale Babalakin committee.
“ASUU
raised issues that had to do with their allowances and part of it was
captured in the supplementary budget that we passed as of that time.
“In the subsequent budgets, some of these areas were also taken care of.”
Asked
if the Senate would promulgate law to bar Nigerians from taking their
children outside the country to study, Barau said that such law would
not be in the best interest of Nigeria.
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“It is something that we know will not be good for our country.
“We know that it is always good to mingle with people from other parts of the world when it comes to the issue of education.
You cannot be an island to yourself; that “you will remain here in Nigeria and say you would not want to interface with others.
“It is not something that has been done in any part of the world.
“You are aware that students from Cameroon, Niger and other parts of the world come here.
“We have exchanged students who come from even the European nations to this country.
“You
must have that interaction. What we should say is this: we should make
sure that we develop universities and educational institutions to the
level of those that we send our children to.
“That
is something that should be done. But saying that students should not
go to other countries, that I think is not going to be good for us,”
he said.

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