We Are Hoping To Peacefully Resolve With ASUU – Ngige
Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has dispelled speculations of uncertainty over talks between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
A statement by the Deputy Director Press, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Samuel Olowookere, said the Minister of Labour and Employment as the chief conciliator of industrial disputes in the country and the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, whose Ministry is the employer of the university lecturers. are still leading the talks.
The statement further said the consultation at the office of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, by both Ministers after last Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting was in consolidation of the negotiations so far held with ASUU.
The statement added: “The Vice President has not taken over the matter. The meeting in his office was in consolidation of negotiations. Engagement of the striking ASUU members is still being handled by Minister of Labour and Employment and the Minister of Education.
“Issues of strike by an employee is a labour matter. The Minister of Labour and Employment is therefore synergising with his Education counterpart where the strike occurred to resolve the dispute.
“Just as the Minister of Labour and Employment led negotiation with the National Association of Resident Doctors in conjunction with the Minister of Health, the same applies in the case of ASUU.
“As a matter of fact, the Minister of Education reported progress on the issue to the Federal Executive Council and together with the Labour Minister held a meeting with the Vice President subsequently. This is normal procedure in government where Ministers brief/report to the President or Vice President to streamline efforts and gains in a given assignment. But that does not entail such assignment is no more being handled by the Minister charged with the responsibility. “
The statement noted that Ngige specifically told newsmen that government negotiating team on the ASUU strike was there to meet with the Vice President, adding: “It was reporters that erroneously interpreted it to mean the Vice President has taken over negotiation.”
Meanwhile, in view of the determination of the Federal Government to end every disruption in the academic calendar of universities, said conciliation with the university lecturers will resume immediately after the Sallah break as requested by ASUU.