ASUU kicks as FG unveils tertiary institutions’ governing council

A few days after the Academic Staff Union of Universities gave the Federal Government an ultimatum over the failure to reconstitute the governing councils of universities across the country, the list of members of 111 tertiary institutions has been unveiled.

The 111 tertiary institutions include universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education.

This was as ASUU President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, said the Federal Government was expected to reinstate the “illegally” dissolved governing councils and not to constitute new ones.

Osodeke also stated that the demand from the union was not only about the dissolved governing councils of tertiary institutions, adding that the Federal Government should implement other requests of ASUU.

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Notable among the members of the councils unveiled include former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega; two prominent Nigerian lawyers and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Wole Olanipekun and Yusuf Alli; former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Peter Okebukola, and labour activist, Issa Aremu.

ASUU had on Tuesday issued a two-week ultimatum to the Nigerian government to address its key concerns including what it described as the illegal dissolution of governing councils of the universities, continued payment of its members’ salaries using the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, among other issues.

As released by the Federal Ministry of Education and signed by its Permanent Secretary, Didi Walson-Jack, the list comprises five names each for 50 universities, 37 polytechnics, and 24 colleges of education.

While Jega will serve as the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Messrs Olanipeku, Alli, Okubukola and Aremu will chair the councils for the University of Lagos, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and Federal College of Education (Technical), Keana, Nasarawa State, respectively.

Others on the list include the former governor of Bauchi State, Isa Yuguda, who will chair the governing council of the National Open University of Nigeria, Joy Emordi, a former Senator, who will chair the council of Alvan Ikoku Federal University of Education, Owerri, Imo State, and a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Yayale Ahmed, who is appointed to lead the council of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State.

The immediate-past Executive Secretary of NUC, Adamu Rasheed, who resigned from office a few months into his second term in office, was also named to chair the governing council of the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo, Benue State.

According to the statement, the inauguration and retreat for the new governing council members will take place on Thursday and Friday, 30 and 31 May, at the National Universities Commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

In June 2023, President Bola Tinubu announced the dissolution of the governing councils of major government agencies and institutions including those of the higher institutions of learning.

Speaking with Sunday PUNCH on Saturday, ASUU President Osodeke, said, “It is not just about the governing council alone, it is just one of them. Secondly, we said they should reinstate the illegally dissolved governing council. We didn’t say they should constitute a new one. As far as we are concerned, they have not met any.”

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