The Nigerian government has said the academic staff union of universities, ASUU would soon call if it’s one month strike.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige made this known after it’s meeting with the union on Tuesday.
Addressing Journalists, Ngige said it was taken aback by the renewed strike which ASUU embarked on February 14, 2022.
He said the federal government was surprised ASUU negated the understanding and assurances it gave through the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council, NIREC, led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar and the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Supo Ayokunle
From this negotiation, we are having today, ASUU will appreciate that government means no harm. This is because even if there are still lapses in the implementation of the agreement, they are not such that will lead to industrial action. To that extent, we have to do everything possible to resolve this.
“But I must tell you that on the government side, they were taken by surprise in that before then, NIREC met with you (ASUU) and reported to the President. Having met with you (ASUU) and having given the details of their meeting with you, we sincerely hoped we won’t again take this route of industrial action. So, the government side is taken by surprise- Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance and all are taken aback.”
strike, Ngige, and NANS outburst
Ngige however assured that, the strike had been apprehended by his Ministry and that the ongoing conciliation would prepare the ground for an expanded meeting that will involve NIREC.
“It is my mandate to apprehend industrial disputes and this has been apprehended so we can discuss, and later expand to what is called tripartite plus meeting, involving members of NIREC who are top religious and traditional rulers, we cannot push aside. And that is as soon as we are done and agree on issues here.”
The Minister expressed optimism that the strike would be called off soon to enable students to go back to school, saying “It should not be one month strike. In fact, there is nothing like one month strike or warning strike in labour parlance. A strike is a strike. We want this to end as soon as possible, as we sort out all grey areas in the agreement as the ILO Principles at Work allows for renegotiation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. So we go back to the draft agreement. We must avoid another situation where our children bear the brunt of two elephants fighting
ASUU President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke in it’s address however blamed the federal government for the ongoing strike, alleging that apart from not implementing the 2020 MOA, the government also failed to convene the regular implementation monitoring meeting as agreed.
He noted that calling off the industrial action depended entirely on the Federal Government as members were determined not to shift ground until their demands are met.
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