By Emmanuel Aziken, Emma Edukugho & Wahab Abdullah
ABUJA â€” THE Senate is to provide legislative framework to legalise the agreement between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Senator Joy Emodi, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education has promised.
Meanwhile, stakeholders in the education sector have hailed the development that resulted in the signing of the agreement by the Federal Government and ASUU.
Speaking yesterday, Senator Emodi said the Senate committee would monitor the Federal Government to ensure its compliance with the agreement.
Noting the rot in the system, Senator Emodi nevertheless called on the university teachers to double their efforts so that the system could recover the ground lost on account of the strike.
Senator Emodi said the Senate response could also come in the form of expedited passage of any money bill providing for the increased remuneration of university teachers whose take home pay, she said, was lamentable.
â€œYesterday (Wednesday) night was cheering for us as dialogue arrived at a compromise. It is something all of us must support and it is for us to ensure that the government keeps to its part of the agreement this time.
â€œSince they have signed it, it will be necessary for the government to keep its own side of the bargain. So, it is cheering news and it is now for ASUU to now go back to school and redouble their efforts to make up for lost ground.
â€œMy committee will continue to work hard to support improvement of our educational system that has remained in coma for a long time. I know that with this agreement, it will bring a lot of change to the ailing system.â€™â€™
On the committeeâ€™s readiness to appropriate the money to effect the agreement, she said: â€œWe will not waste time in doing that because there is need to improve the welfare of the teachers which is the worst in the country and anything my committee can do through appropriation, we will not hesitate to do. And we will expedite action, even if it means working 24 hours.â€™â€™
Stakeholders hail new deal
Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Tolu Odugbemi, who was enthusiastic on the agreement told Vanguard: â€œThank God, the strike is over.
â€œWe pray to God that education will now move from strength to strength to the glory of God. Apparently, this is a good development for our nation,â€ Odugbemi added.
Alhaji Babs Animashaun, Founder of Parent/Teachers Association of Nigeria and a major stakeholder in the sector said the agreement is â€œhighly commendable.
â€œI want to congratulate President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua for his statesmanship and patriotism in the settlement of the dispute and the concession from government.â€
He called for â€œsincere implementation of the agreement and that we donâ€™t go back on what was agreed upon.â€
Animashaun appealed to University authorities not to rush the students in their academic work, but allow them time to read for their examination.
Edo State Education Commissioner, Dr. Ngozi Osarenren, described the signing of the agreement as a â€œgreat successâ€.
She told Vanguard that the Edo State government was very proud; more so with the intervention of Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
â€œOf course, we are very proud, it was a great success. Iâ€™m very proud of what Governor Oshiomhole has done.
â€œNow, our children can go back to school and resume their studies.â€
Chairman, project funding committee of the proposed Augustine University, Epe, Lagos State, Chief Molade Okoya-Thomas said: â€œAll of us were happy when the strike was finally called off by the university lecturers.
It is a good thing, because we cannot afford our children, who are the leaders of tomorrow to be bereft of good and qualitative education. A nation without education cannot definitely progress.â€