Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, says he will not interfere with the ongoing selection process that would lead to the appointment of the substantive Vice Chancellor of the state-owned Lagos State University (LASU).
The governor said he had no personal interest in who becomes the next Vice Chancellor of LASU and therefore had no intention to influence the process, adding that due process would be followed in the appointment.
Governor Sanwo-Olu made the statement while receiving members of the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities led by its chairman, Prof. Samuel Edoumiekumo, who paid him a courtesy visit at the Lagos House, Ikeja on Tuesday.
“The process for the appointment of the substantive Vice Chancellor of the Lagos State University (LASU) is ongoing and I can assure you that all the laws and due process that would lead to the appointment of the vice chancellor would be fully adhered to.
“I have no intention to interfere or have any interest in the choice of who would be vice chancellor. We have put in the committee men and women of impeccable character that have distinguished themselves and are willing to do for us a good job,” he said.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, who promised adequate and continuous funding for state-owned tertiary institutions in Lagos State, said plans were in top gear to establish two additional universities of technology and education in the State.
The Governor also promised to assist the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities to get back the title documents of its property situated at Idowu Taylor Street, Victoria Island in Lagos, saying the property would be released to the Committee at no cost.
He said Lagos State Government will support the Committee on its forthcoming 60th anniversary celebration holding next year.
Speaking earlier, Prof. Edoumiekumo commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for rising to the occasion when COVID-19 pandemic ravaged the state and for delivering dividends of democracy to the people of Lagos State in different sectors.
He said the ongoing metro rail system and the proposed 38 kilometres long Fourth Mainland bridge project, which according to him is one of the single most significant infrastructure projects undertaken by a state government in Nigeria, are testimonies of a thoroughly focused government.
The Chairman of CVCNU said Governor Sanwo-Olu’s support as the Visitor to the Lagos State University is commendable and called for the Lagos State Government’s support for the forthcoming 60th anniversary of the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities.
“As Nigeria’s economic and social powerhouse, Lagos is arguably a mini-Nigeria and leader in its federation of states. Lagos sets the agenda and leads other states to emulate in economic development, innovation, good governance and education,” he said.
Prof. Edoumiekumo said the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities is desirous of working with key stakeholders to improve the Nigeria University system and therefore seek for mutually rewarded partnership with Lagos State Government and the people in that regard.
Varsity Strike: ASUU demands exclusion of Ngige from negotiations
The Academic Staff Union of Universities has accused the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, of allowing the over four-month strike in nation’s universities to linger.
President of the union, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, who stated this on Friday, also denied the claim by the minister that the union was invited to meeting on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Ngige said the FG would soon resolve issues on the strike by ASUU and that concerns over payment platforms would be addressed with the union and other stakeholders in the next meeting fixed for Thursday.
But speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Friday, the President of ASUU, Emmanuel Osodeke, said the union did not receive any letter of invitation from the minister.
He said Ngige should remove himself from the ongoing negotiation because the minister had worsened the situation.
He said, “We were not invited to any meeting. None of our members was invited. We have a secretariat but we never got any invitation from them.
“The problem we have with this government, especially with the minister of labour, is that if you can tell the world that you have fixed a meeting which you didn’t; how do you expect us to believe other things you have said?
“He should confirm to the world that he sent an invitation to ASUU for a meeting on Thursday.
“The minister of labour should leave us to deal with the minister of education. He was the one that made this matter worse to this extent. He was the one that decided to use hunger as a weapon, when he said no work no pay.”
ASUU, on February 14, declared a one-month warning strike to protest the non-implementation of its demands by the FG.
But on March 14, the union extended the action by eight weeks, citing the government’s failure to fully address its demands.
On May 6, Ngige promised that the FG would resume negotiations with ASUU with the aim of ending the strike.
Three days after his promise, the union extended the strike by another 12 weeks.
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ASUU will call off four-month strike soon – Ngige
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, on Wednesday said the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities would soon be called off.
He stated this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by the President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja.
Ngige said efforts were underway to resolve the ongoing dispute between the FG and ASUU over payment platforms.
ASUU, which grounded academic activities in Nigerian universities since February 14, 2022, had insisted on the use of its own generated payment platform, University Transparency and Accountability Solution.
It premised its demand on claims that the government-backed Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System was shortchanging its members.
However, the Federal Government, last March claimed that UTAS was unfit for wide-scale use as it failed three integrity tests.
Aside from UTAS, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities and Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Educational Institutions also proposed their payment platform: Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll System.
Ngige argued that the Federal Government was indeed engaging with ASUU, despite notions that it has been snubbing the union.
He also said there were no plans to establish an alternative payment table for all the labour unions in tertiary institutions.
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