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(From This Day (Nigeria) - AAGM)
The resumed talks between the Federal Government and the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) ended on an inconclusive note on Monday as both sides stuck to their positions.
Following the presentation of ASUU's minimum demands during the last meeting, the Minister of Education, Prof. Babalola Borishade presented a six-page 'summary of positions' to the union on Monday. The meeting then adjorned to give ASUU time to study the document.
Among others, Borishade said government was committed to increasing the level of funding to federal universities, as illustrated by the 33 per cent increase in overhead grant over last year's .
The Senate was said to have, last week, approved the Appropriation Bill where education received the highest percentage of the Recurrent Budget. The breakdown shows that Education got N63,228,742,652 while the police came next with N56,269,101,515, followed by Defence with N54,575,272,206 and Health N32,648,546,213.
The Minister said the ministry has directed the National Univerisities Commission (NUC) to convey to vice-chancellors through a circular that within the laws of the University, students should be represented in the university welfare Board and other committees that handle the affairs of students.
"Students should be encouraged to take part in various aspecs of curriculum development and that they should be made to be more self assured as part of their development process. Students should also participate in the process of assessing academic staff with respect to teaching", he said.
But the National President of ASUU, Dr. Dipo Fashina, said "Government has not offered acceptable solutions to the core problems of funding, University of Ilorin UNILORIN, state universities and others."
On the vexed issue of the 44 lecturers sacked at UNILORIN, the government says it is prepared to allow the rule of law to prevail and pledges to honour the decisions of the court on the issued. It also said it had directed the NUC to secure placements for them in other universities.
ASUU however objected to this saying the lecturers ought to be reinstated first and then if found to have committed any offence, due process be followed in sanctioning them.
In this first report,, excerpts of the summary of government's presentation is as follows:
Funding of Universities:
The two Arms of the National Assembly as well as the Executive Branch of the Federal Government had agreed in principle to improve the …