The Federal Government has disclosed that it will soon direct vice-chancellors to reopen the universities in compliance with the order of the court, adding that it will still continue its negotiations with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) despite the Industrial Court’s order to end the strike.
This was disclosed by Labour Minister, Chris Ngige in a meeting with the Nigerian Association of Medical and Dental Academics, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
He stated that pro-chancellors of universities met with President Muhammadu Buhari and made demands including topping up the government’s offer and seeing whether there could be some bailout and
What the minister is saying
Ngige said, “The court ruling does not preclude us from going on with further negotiation and consultations.”
Ngige added that the Industrial Court’s ruling was in the best interest of Nigeria and its people, citing that it is a win-win for the government, students, lecturers and for all Nigerians.
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“It is a no victor, no vanquished.
“You doctors in academics are for now members of ASUU, but you are here; even though you have dissociated yourselves and you are working.
“We want to thank you for working and teaching your students,” the minister said.
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He added that pro-chancellors of universities had met with President Muhammadu Buhari and made some demands that included topping up the government’s offer and seeing whether there could be some bailout. He added that President Buhari has assured that he would consult with stakeholders on the request.
Ngige also noted that the House Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila assured that principal officers of the House would meet with President Buhari over the strike.
“Since the House has shown interest now, it is good and wonderful. When they bring that proposal, the Executive will not have any problem.
“ASUU should also know that this is a step in the right direction. All these things have been promised to them by the Minister of Education at their last meeting,” he said.
He added that ASUU should do the needful and go back to the classroom, citing that government would soon direct vice-chancellors to reopen the universities in compliance with the order of court.
What you should know
- The National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to call of its ongoing strike.
- Justice Hamman while ruling on the case, held that the application was meritorious and deserved to be granted by the court.
- In his dismissal of the objection of the ASUU lawyer, Femi Falana, the Judge further held that the industrial action is detrimental to public university students who cannot afford to attend private tertiary institutions.
- He said the Trade Dispute Act mandates workers not to embark on strike once an issue has been referred to the industrial court.
- Justice Hamman also upheld the application of the Federal Government saying it was meritorious and granted.