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NAAT opposes removal of Babalakin as chair of renegotiation committee

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja 
29 January 2019   |   4:10 am
The National Association of Academic Technology (NAAT), has opposed the removal of Dr. Wale Babalakin, as the Chair of the renegotiation...

Dr. Wale Babalakin

The National Association of Academic Technology (NAAT), has opposed the removal of Dr. Wale Babalakin, as the Chair of the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/University-based unions agreement.

Meanwhile, the non-teaching staffers of the Inter-University centres have alleged that the Federal Government excluded them from the N8 billion released to settle the earned allowances of the non-teaching staff of universities and inter-university centres.

The Chairman of Nigeria French Language Village Ajara, Badagry, Lagos state, Zannu John, listed French Village, National Mathematics Centre Abuja, Arabic Language Village Gamboru Ngala, Maiduguri, and National Institute of Legal Study, Lagos, as the affected institutions.

A communiqué issued at the end of its 39th National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the NAAT Secretariat, University of Abuja, the union said the replacement of Babalakin would be seen as a move to pacify a group thereby jeopardising the renegotiation process.

The communiqué, which was signed by the President of the union, Sani Suleiman, and General Secretary, Iyoyo Hamilton, read in part: “NAAT commends the Chairman (Dr Babalakin) and members of the committee for the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/University-based union agreements for the progress made so far on the exercise. In view of this, NAAT enjoins all unions involved in the renegotiation to give the committee the required support to carry out its assignment. The committee must not also allow itself to be distracted by calls for removal/replacement of Dr Babalakin or any other member. No union has the mandate or authority to constitute the renegotiation committee to satisfy itself. If government accedes to the demand of one union to remove Dr Babalakin from the chairmanship, the question is, will the government be also willing to remove whoever is his replacement if requested to do so by another union? If yes, at what point is such a scenario going to end?”

However, the union commended the Federal Government for releasing N8 billion for the payment of non-teaching staff earned allowances, saying government must ensure that the disbursement actually goes to deserving staff and strictly in compliance with the agreement signed between the Federal Government and the respective non-teaching staff unions.

The union urged the Federal Government to mainstream into the main salary structure effective 2019 national budget to avoid further accumulation of arrears.

NAAT described the setting up a consultative committee on state-owned universities will help curb the indiscriminate establishment of state universities by governors who are unable to adequately fund the existing ones.

The union observed that the dysfunctional status of the contributory pension scheme of university workers jeopardises the welfare of the workers when they retire form service.

It added: “Government should evaluate the management and operations of the scheme with a view to injecting fresh ideas that will engender transparency and accountability hence ensure its functionality.”

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