ASUU on leave failed to give notification of strike – Ngige
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, declared that the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ strike was a “leave” as a result of the union’s failure to inform his government before to starting on the strike.
He also stated that the union had breached its agreement, which was reached with the National Inter-religious Council, which is headed by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad, and Rev Samson Ayokunle, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, by failing to submit a report to the committee before embarking on a nationwide strike.
A telephone chat with our Abuja reporter revealed that the minister had made this disclosure.
The PUNCH said that ASUU has declared the start of a one-month rolling and comprehensive strike on February 14, 2022, after a meeting of its National Executive Council held at the University of Lagos, Akoka, according to the publication.
A number of outstanding demands, including payment of revitalization funds to universities, payment of earned allowances to university lecturers, and the implementation of the UTAS payment system for university lecturers, were repeatedly ignored by the federal government, which the union blamed for failing to meet its obligations.
Ngige, however, said,
“I am sure you know NIREC which is headed by the sultan and the CAN president. I am sure you also remember that the President mandated his Chief of Staff, the ministry of labour and the ministry of education to find a way to make sure that we resolve the issues with ASUU.
“Now, NIREC met with ASUU twice and they discussed some of these issues. The leadership of ASUU said they would go back and meet with their NEC. We were waiting for them to come back and then we heard they were going on strike.
“ASUU failed to get back to us and proceeded on strike without sending notifications. They just gave themselves a leave. If you want to go on strike, you should at least inform us officially by giving us notification but they refused to.
“You can not just go on strike like that, it is illegal. So, they are just on leave. We will work with them and they will call off the strike.”