ASUU Strike: FG to renegotiate conditions of service with varsity workers

Education News

The Federal Government of Nigeria has said that it is ready to renegotiate public university workers’ conditions of service.

Dr Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, stated this while hosting members of the government team of the 2009 Federal Government/University-based unions agreement re-negotiation committee.

The chairman of the committee is Nimi Briggs, and the meeting took place on Monday in Abuja.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the minister said that he has been pushing for the full implementation of the 2020 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between ASUU as a mediator.

His words, “I started pushing to see that things were done. What the Munzali committee came up with is a proposal.

“Both Munzali and ASUU did not sign. At our last meeting in February before ASUU proceeded on strike, we said everyone should go back to his principal.

”I asked Education several times what they had done with the document. We later got information on areas of disagreement.

“There is nothing wrong with that. It is bound to happen. I told ASUU to put up a committee, they said the Munzali committee had expired.

“As a conciliator, I have to make use of the labour instruments at my disposal.

“The bosses in the Federal Ministry of Education do not feel the strike. There are things that are above me. I am not the Minister of Education.

”I cannot go to the Education Minister and dictate to him how to run his place.

“But I told ASUU that you should be bombarding them at the Federal Ministry of Education for this to be moved forward. There are many ways to do so.

“If you go to the labour act there is something called picketing. You can picket, strike is an ultimate thing.

“Picketing means that you can stay at the corridor, clapping or singing. Workers are permitted to do so. But every time there is a disagreement, it is strike.

“It is the children and some of us parents that have our children in public schools.

“I have my children in public universities, including those on my foundation’s scholarship and sponsorship.

“So, I am a parent. I feel it. I didn’t send my children to Igbinedion or Afe Babalola or Cambridge.

“Why won’t I support if ASUU and their unions now want a renegotiation of their conditions of service, which is the main thing in the proposal by the previous Munzali committee.”

Speaking at the parley, Mr Briggs said that the renegotiation committee was working hard to end the strike.

He said that the committee was holding consultations with stakeholders for peaceful resolution of all raised issues.

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