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FG Urges ASUU to Call off its Nationwide Strike

By Ganiyu Nasirudeen

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Barely 24 hours after the commencement of the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) indefinite nationwide strike, the Federal Government (FG) has appealed to the body to call off its action.

The appeal was contained in a statement issued Tuesday by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngigie.

The statement which was signed by the Deputy Director of Press in the Ministry, Mr. Samuel Olowookere, indicated that FG’s appeal was in line with an on-going renegotiation of the 2009 agreement between the FG and ASUU.

The Minister disclosed that the ”renegotiation”, which started on Monday, February 13, 2017, to address the lingering issues, was being coordinated by the FG’s Babalakin-led Committee.

While noting that the FG did not wish to apportion any blame, Dr. Ngige pointed out that ASUU did not follow due process in its declaration of the industrial action.

He said this is because the Government was not given the mandatory 15 days’ notice as contained in Section 41 of Trade Disputes Act, Cap T8, 2004.

The statement said: “In fact, it was on Monday, August 14, 2017, that the office of the minister received a letter dated August 13, 2017, from ASUU, that is, one full day after it commenced the strike”.

The former Senator contended that the letter he received was just to inform FG that ASUU had started a strike instead of declaration of intention to go on a strike as provided in the Trade Dispute Act, 2004.

Dr. Ngigie however recalled that since the case was being conciliated, it was against the spirit of social dialogue and Collective Bargaining Agreement for ASUU to begin the ongoing strike as enunciated in the International Labour Organisation’  ILO Convention.

ASUU National President Dr. Biodun Ogunyemi yesterday (Monday) declared the indefinite nationwide industrial action in Abuja.

 

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