THE Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU), has expressed its willingness to re- enter into fresh negotiations on the 2009 agreement with the Federal Government considering that implementing the agreement might no longer be feasible due to the outbreak of COVID-19
Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Sokoto Zone, Dr. Jamilu Shehu, told The Nation in an exclusive interview in Katsina that whenever the Federal Government invites the union to review the matter, it will certainly honour such invitation
“What I want to put out here is that ASUU is ready for renegotiation, should the government come up to say, look, implementing the 2009 agreement is no longer feasible because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought a lot of challenges.
“If they ask us, ‘can we re- negotiate afresh on that agreement?’ The answer is yes.
We are just waiting for the invitation. Whatever government has in mind; it is there that it will be discussed. And whatever government comes up with at that time, our representatives cannot say yes or no, it must be brought back to our members for our final say. It is only our NEC that has the right to accept government offer or reject it.”
On the issue of reopening of universities, he noted that ASUU is kicking against the re-opening of universities because it is not convinced about the preparedness of these institutions to comply with stipulated NCDC’s COVID-19 protocols on opening of schools.
He said: “sometimes, you find about 1000 or more than 2000 students. How can social distancing be practiced there and the issue of washing of hands they are talking about. How many universities have good running water systems?
“That is why we are now telling the government, let the universities ensure that they provide all these facilities as stipulated by NCDC, before this schools reopen.”