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Industrial Court ruling: FG orders VCs, Pro-Chancellors to reopen varsities

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The National Universities Commission (NUC) has ordered vice-chancellors to re-open the nation’s public universities immediately for commencement of lectures.

A directive to this effect was contained in a letter signed by the Director, Finance and Accounts of the NUC, Mr Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, and made available to journalists on Monday in Abuja.

Apart from the Vice-Chancellors, Pro-Chancellors and Chairmen of Governing Councils of federal universities are also instructed to re-open the institutions.

The letter states in part: “Ensure that ASUU members immediately resume/commence lectures; restore the daily activities and routines of the various university campuses.”

Persecondnews recalls that ASUU had been on strike for more than seven months to press home their demands including the revitalization of public universities, earned academic allowances, University Transparency Accountability Solution, UTAS, promotion arrears, renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement, and adoption of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) of the government as the payment system in the university sector.

Several meetings between ASUU and the federal government had ended in a deadlock which forced the federal government to file the matter before the Industrial Court by way of referral in order to resolve the ongoing strike.

The government through its counsel, Mr James Igwe, urged the court to grant an interlocutory injunction restraining ASUU from taking further steps as regards the strike, pending the determination of the substantive suit.

Delivering ruling on the interlocutory injunction filed by the Federal Government, Justice Polycarp Hamman, had on Wednesday, September 21, restrained ASUU from continuing with the industrial action pending the determination of the suit.

Meanwhile, students have taken to the various social media to react to the order.

A Twitter user, @AdebisiKemi wrote: “ASUU won’t obey, I am sure of that. I just wish they can think about the students and let us resume. They should know this is not about them alone, the future of thousands of even millions of students is involved here. Pls resume.”

@IsholaLanrewanju wrote: “ASUU please, Nigerian Students are depressed already because Students in the private universities are moving ahead while Nigerian public universities are stagnant.”

“The news didn’t attract joy because it’s not coming from ASUU. FG just want to open schools before October 1 to avoid shame during the presidential independence day speech,” @MustyTheAnalyst wrote.

@rejoice_ndukwe wrote: “Nigeria students are suffering helplessly in the hands of asuu and fg. If lecturers resume without being paid, the Nigerian students will suffer more.”

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