The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has described the new law signed by President Goodluck Jonathan to extend the new retirement age of university professors as a step in the right direction and said it was a turning point in the history of education in Nigeria.
In a statement in Abuja at the weekend, ASUU President, Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie recalled that the teachers had over the years struggled for that to happen, noting that its realisation was a sign of good things to come for the academia.
He said the Universities, (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendments), Act, 2012, which among other issues reviews, raised the compulsory retirement age of academics in the professorial cadre to 70 years could not have come at a better time, considering the general concerns about the deteriorating standards of education in Nigeria.
The statement read: “Members of the public might recall that, since the signing of the FGN/ASUU agreement in 2009, the union had been struggling to implement all provisions of the said agreement. This is one of the issues. Therefore, the signing of this law is indeed a positive step in the efforts to turn around the plight of education in Nigeria. The Union therefore, seizes the opportunity to thank all Nigerians for the positive roles they played towards the achievements.”
It specifically thanked the President “for the expeditious attention he gave to the Bill by signing it almost immediately the National Assembly forwarded it to him; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) for the roles he played in getting the Bill signed by Mr. President and for his numerous interventions in getting the agreement implemented.
It also commended Sen. Uche Chukwumerije, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education for his passionate concern for education and the zeal with which he pursued the passage of the Bill; Farouk Lawan, Chair, House of Representatives Committee on Education for his tremendous sacrifice in getting the agreement implemented; the leadership of both Chambers of the National Assembly and particularly members of the Education Committees of both Chambers of the National Assembly for their efforts towards ensuring the Bill is speedily passed.