FG backtracks, withdraws order to re-open varsities

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The Federal Government, through the National Universities Commission (NUC), on Monday afternoon withdrew a circular directing the reopening of federal public universities.

The directive was given to Vice-Chancellors, Pro-Chancellors and Governing Councils to re-open Federal Universities.

The government had in a circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 addressed to all vice-chancellors; Pro-Chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities, ordering them to re-open universities.

The circular was signed by the Director, Finance and Account of the NUC, Sam Onazi, on behalf of the Executive Secretary of the commission, Prof Abubakar Rasheed.

However, in another circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/136 which was also signed by the Director, finance and account of the NUC, Onazi, the commission withdrew the order.

No reason was given for the sudden withdrawal of the circular.

The letter tagged, “withdrawal of circular NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 dated 23rd September 2022” partly reads, “ I have been directed to withdraw the National Universities Commission (NUC) Circular Ref: NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135, and dated 23″ September 2022 on the above subject.

“Consequently, the said Circular stands withdrawn. All Pro-Chancellors and Chairmen of Governing Councils, as well as Vice-Chancellors of Federal Universities are to please note. Further development and information would be communicated to all relevant stakeholders.

“Please accept the assurances of the Executive Secretary’s warmest regards,” he said.

Last week, Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige hinted that the government may direct the reopening of federal universities following the ruling of the National Industrial Court.

The court had ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities to return to work in line with section 17 of the Trade Dispute Act 2004.

However, on Friday, ASUU, through lawyers, filed an appeal and stay of execution of the NIC order.


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