Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday, Barr. Wike said the family of the late Prof. Iyayi officially informed the ministry on the burial rites of the late ASUU President through the National Universities Commission, NUC, on Monday, hence the shift in the mandatory resumption date.
According to a release signed by Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant (Media) to the Supervising Minister of Education, the federal government will fully participate in the burial rites of the former ASUU President.
The minister said: “The decision to shift the date of the compulsory resumption of federal universities for academic activities is now Monday, December 9. This decision has been taken as a result of the respect we have for the former ASUU President.”
Wike stated that the federal government took the decision to re-open the universities in the interest of Nigerians and not to engender any form of show-down with ASUU.
He said Nigerians must appreciate the fact that the pro-chancellors and chairmen of the Federal Universities Governing Councils took the decision to re-open the schools, pointing out that the federal government’s directive was to the Vice Chancellors who are expected to comply with the decision of the Pro-Chancellors.
The minister stated that the federal government has already opened a dedicated account for the revival of infrastructure in the universities, while the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education has signed the resolution that the federal government will commit N1.3trillion into the revival of infrastructure in the universities.
Wike added that the advertisement of internal and external vacancies is part of the process to address the shortage of manpower in the nation’s universities.
He stated that despite the repeated misrepresentation of facts on the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement, the federal government had implemented over 80percent of the issues contained in the document, with only the payment of earned allowances and revitalisation of infrastructure pending.
“The federal government appreciates the need to revive infrastructure in our universities and other tertiary institutions, hence the government has put in place the process to effectively address the challenges identified by the NEEDS Assessment report voluntarily initiated by President Goodluck Jonathan.”