Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie, says he is confident that the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will soon be called off.
Speaking, Wednesday, in Abuja, at a media parley with journalists, Okojie said the commission was doing everything within its powers to ensure a speedy resolution of the issues raised by ASUU so that students could return to school.
“We are part of the system and we understand the issues, we are meeting with members of the union all the time and the issues are being tackled.
“So, we are optimistic the strike will soon be called off and our children can go back to school in the shortest possible time,” he said.
In reaction to the call by ASUU for NUC to be scrapped, Okojie said “the call is not in good faith as the commission has not gone to sleep over its duties”.
Also speaking on the recurrent disagreements between the commission and some professional bodies over accreditation and running of certain courses by some universities, Okojie acknowledged that there were issues that needed to be resolved between both parties.
“There is no country in the world where regulatory bodies and professional bodies go to regulate at the same time.
“So, it is true we are having problems with professional bodies in carrying out our mandate, but the issues too will soon be resolved and we can move on.
The executive secretary, who said that the commission had closed many faculties not fit to run courses in certain universities, admitted that; “it is not easy to be a regulator’’.
According to him, the commission was “silently regulating the system’’ having to also pay professional fees and encourage professors to do accreditation. [NAN]
#EndSARS Protest: Sanwo-Olu Orders Closure Of Schools In Lagos
The Lagos State Government led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ordered the closure of public and private schools indefinitely in the state.
The closure of schools in Lagos was announced in a press statement on Monday by the state’s Head of Public Affairs, Ministry of Education, Kayode Abayomi.
The statement which was titled, ‘Lagos directs students to stay at home’, quoted Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, the Commissioner for Education, as saying that the schools were shut down over “tension generated by the anti-SARS protests.”
This is coming at a time #EndSARS protests against police brutality and bad governance by Nigerian youths grounded academic activities in some schools in the state on Monday.
“A new date of resumption for all classes will be announced as soon as possible.”
NECO Shifts Exam Over #EndSARS Protest
The National Examination Council, NECO, has announced the rescheduled of one of the practical examinations supposed to hold in October till the next month.
This was contained in a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday, October 18, by the Head, Information and Public Relations Division for the Nigerian exam body, Mr. Azeez Sani.
He announced that the Paper I Computer Studies Practicals examination which was supposed to be taken on Monday, October 19 is now delayed till November 16, 2020.
Sani revealed that the postponement is a result of the ongoing #EndSARS protests across the country, particularly the blockage of movement of transport at the entrance gate into Benin City, the Edo state capital.
He noted further that the truck conveying NECO examination materials had left its take-off point two days earlier to deliver to some states but has been held up in the ‘blockage.
FG, ASUU Meeting Over IPPIS, UTAS End In Deadlock
The meeting between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday ended in a deadlock.
Although some agreements were reached at the meeting, the meeting is set to reconvene on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, by 3.00 pm after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting for ASUU to report back on the decision of its NEC.
In a bid to end the strike, the federal government agreed to release N30billion for payment of arrears of earned academic allowance to the university lecturers.
The communiqué issued at the end of the meeting revealed that the release of N20 billion funds for revitalisation of public universities will be payable by the end of January 2021.
On the issue of Earned Academic Allowances(EAA), which had accumulated to N40 billion since November 2019, the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) made a commitment to release N30 billion on or before November 6, 2020.
He said the remaining N10 billion would be spread equally over the two tranches to be paid in May 2021 and February 2022, respectively.
The communiqué also revealed that ASUU agreed to take the offer to its members for consideration and revert by Wednesday, October 21, 2020.
The issue of the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) almost stalled the meeting as the federal government asked that IPPIS be allowed to operate in the interim until the test run on UTAS is concluded.
But ASUU insisted on payment of outstanding salaries on the old GIFMIS platform before full implementation of UTAS.
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