By Sadiq Umar – The meeting between leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige has resolved to carry out forensic audit of the N30billion released to ASUU in 2010.
The decisions were taken Tuesday at the end of the meeting conveyed to get ASUU to suspend its on-going indefinite strike action.
The meeting held at the Minister’s Conference Room, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Federal Secretariat, Abuja took significant steps towards the resolution of the issues raised by ASUU.
A statement by the deputy director of Press at the ministry, Samuel Olowookere, distributed by PR Releases, said the issue is the strike is being resolved.
“The Minister hence wishes to assure members of ASUU; in deed all Nigerians that government is already at work to resolve all outstanding issues in line with the resolve of the present administration to cast any form of disruption of universities’ academic calendar into the dust bin of history,” it stated.
The statement added that the peace meeting will continue on Thursday, August 17, 2017.
Early in the morning, the Federal Government has urged the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to suspend its on-going strike in the universities in the interest of the nation
Sen. Ngige made the appeal in an earlier statement, saying there was an on-going renegotiation of the 2009 agreement between the Federal Government and ASUU by the Babalakin Committee which the Federal Government set up on Monday 13thFebruary 2017, and which is already addressing the issues raised by ASUU.
According to the statement, though the Federal Government did not wish to apportion blame, “it is important to note that ASUU did not follow due process in the declaration of the industrial action as it did not give the Federal Government, the mandatory 15 days’ notice as contained in the Section 41 of Trade Disputes Act, Cap T8, 2004.
In fact, it was on Monday 14th August, 2017 that the Office of the Minister received a letter dated 13th August, 2017 from ASUU, that is, one full day after it commenced the strike.”
It further noted that the letter was to inform the Federal Government that ASUU has started strike and not a declaration of intention to go on strike as contained in the Trade Dispute Act, 2004.
The Minister further said that since the case was being conciliated, it was against the spirit of Social Dialogue and Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for ASUU to embark on strike as enunciated in the ILO Convention.
“The Federal Government therefore wishes to appeal to ASUU to consider students who are currently writing degree and promotion examinations, call off the strike and return to the negotiation table, adding that “the Ministry of Labour and Employment will ensure that a time frame will be tied to negotiation this time around.”
Sen. Ngige added that “Babalakin Committee was ever ready to continue the negotiation, indeed, has all the necessary ingredients for fruitful social dialogue as well as adequate powers to negotiate and make recommendations to the Federal Government.”
Deputy Director (Press)