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Strike: ASUU failed to get back to us – Ngige

Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, stated on Wednesday that the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities was a “leave” due to the union’s failure to notify his ministry before going on strike.

According to reports, Ngige also stated that the union violated its agreement with the National Inter-religious Council, which is chaired by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad, and the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev Samson Ayokunle, by failing to report to the committee prior to going on strike.

Newsclickng.com had earlier reported that ASUU announced the start of a one-month rolling and comprehensive strike on February 14, 2022, following its National Executive Council meeting at the University of Lagos, Akoka.

The union had blamed the federal government for repeatedly failing to meet some of the lingering demands, such as payment of university revitalization funds, payment of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the UTAS payment system for university lecturers.

Ngige, however, said, “I am sure you know NIREC which is headed by the sultan and the CAN president. I am sure you recall that the President directed his Chief of Staff, the Ministry of Labour, and the Ministry of Education to find a way to ensure that the issues with ASUU were resolved.

“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.”

The union had blamed the federal government for repeatedly failing to meet some of the lingering demands, such as payment of university revitalization funds, payment of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the UTAS payment system for university lecturers.

Ngige, however, said, “I am sure you know NIREC which is headed by the sultan and the CAN president. I am sure you recall that the President directed his Chief of Staff, the Ministry of Labour, and the Ministry of Education to find a way to ensure that the issues with ASUU were resolved.

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