Former Executive Secretary of the National University Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie, OON, has said that negotiations to resolve the recurring universities strike have consistently been affected by the trade union approach of the university staff unions.
Prof. Okojie disclosed this on Wednesday while delivering the 3rd Registry Distinguished Lecture of the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
In the lecture titled “Composite Work Environment: Emotional Intelligence as the Nexus,” Prof. Okojie decried the lack of experts in the negotiation teams of the Federal Government and Staff Unions, which has also contributed to the failure of negotiations.
“The negotiation with unions by the relevant government bodies, have no professionals included in the teams and the staff unions also have their trade Union approach to negotiation,” he said.
“They fail to consider that the system belongs to them and government inherits carry-over agreements, which are difficult to implement because of the backlog,” he added.
Prof. Okojie, who lamented the absence of strategic application of methods that deal with interpersonal relationship in the resolution of disputes in the educational system, revealed that students are the most affected by the incessant universities strike.
According to him: “The students are the most affected by strike actions when they themselves or the Staff Union members are on strike. Many universities have irregular calendars which distort admission processes for new students and the compulsory National Youth Service.”
Prof. Okojie, who said emotional intelligence was essential in every area of human endeavours, urged the Registry Staff of Universities to imbibe emotional intelligence in their dealings with students, because they were the first and last contact points of Universities, during admission screening and final year clearance, respectively.
He also called on the National Universities Commission (NUC) to institute a panel, to develop the Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) for a programme in Emotional Intelligence in Nigerian Universities.
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