The House of Representatives has called on the government to put on hold its decision to remove the vice chancellors of five federal universities.
Moving the motion in the House of Representatives, Rep. Adamu Shekarau, believes the decision violates enabling laws covering appointments and removal of vice chancellors.
He stated that the body would soon go on strike over the suspension of vice chancellors from some institutions, and prayed that the House Committee on Tertiary Institutions would investigate and report to the House.
The lawmakers said unions in the universities have given notice of possible strike to protest the removals.
Speaker of the House, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, called for a vote, saying that All hands must be on deck to ensure that it [the strike] does not happen”
The Committee on tertiary education is to investigate the matter and report to the house in two weeks.
The Federal Government has directed vice-chancellors of all Federal universities currently on strike to immediately re-open for academic and allied activities as directed by their pro-chancellors.
Minister of State for Education, Mr Nyesom Wike gave the directive and also asked the vice-chancellors to ensure that staff who resume for work are provided with the enabling environment to carry out academic activities.
He added that any staff who failed to resume on or before December 4, 2013 automatically ceases to be a staff of the institution and that vice-chancellors are allowed to advertise vacancies for their positions in their institution.
Mr Wike further said that the Federal Government has come to the conclusion that the continued industrial action is an attempt by the Academic Staff Union of Universities to sabotage all efforts to address the issues, despite the commitment of government.
As a responsible government it cannot allow the continuous closure of public institutions as this poses danger to the education system and the future of Nigerian youths.
The National Universities Commission (NUC) has been directed to ensure compliance of the directives by the various institutions.
A public affairs analyst, Chima Nnaji, has said that the Minister of Education, Ruqayat Rufai is not helping the on-going industrial strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and accused of treating the situation in an off-handed manner.
“The Minister of Education has not being helping matters” by “talking glibly.” This, he said, is a very cheap way of looking at a very serious problem.
He said “she ought to sit with her team to take a very incisive analysis of the issues moving forward”.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mr Nnaji said “she ought to sit with her team to take a very incisive analysis of the issues moving forward”.
The strike action embarked upon by the union is currently in 6th week, however, students may have to wait some more before an agreement is reached between the body and the Federal Government.
Mr Nnaji said “it appears it’s still a long wait” but added that the strike may be called off “anything from next week Tuesday, if it is possible.”
He accused President Goodluck Jonathan and government officials of paying little or no attention to the problems of the education sector and focusing attention on 2015. It is very unfortunate thing because “education is the most primary thing government should provide.”
“The ministers, governors, president, all the people in government are geared towards 2015.”
First, government must accept responsibility because “an agreement is an agreement” and must be respected.
The ASUU strike is happening at a time where there is proliferation of federal universities but “if you do not prepare the child of today for tomorrow, there is no future for this country.”
He addressed the issue of unqualified lecturers and called them to examine themselves. “How many of them are good enough to teach. What is the content of their teaching?”