The Committee of Pro-Chancellors of state-owned Universities (COPSUN) has called for the removal of labour and wages from the exclusive legislative list of the Nigerian Constitution to allow state governments exercise appropriate control over their workers.
In a communiqué issued at the end of its 52nd Quarterly meeting at Abuja on Tuesday, the Committee presided over by Mallam Yusuf Olaolu Ali, SAN argued that the structure and operation of the country’s federalism about public institutions established and owned separately by the Federal and State governments under different legislations have been a major problem of state universities.
Stressing that state governments should be allowed to negotiate wages with their workers, the committee stated that the rights of trade unions to demand for welfare of its members should be based on employer-employee relationship.
Worried by the instability in the academic calendars of the state universities fostered by incessant strikes by the academic and non-academic staff unions, the Committee appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) to de-emphasize strikes as the major tool of negotiation with the Federal Government.
While observing that the disruption of the academic calendars has adversely affected the quality of the nation’s universities, their products and research outputs, the Committee said the core values of education have been negatively impacted by the instability in the university system resulting in falling standards.
The Committee announced that as its own contribution to the reform of tertiary education in Nigeria, an international conference will be organized before the end of the year to consider the various challenges facing universities and proffer appropriate solutions.