Strike: ASUU’s stubbornness may force us to explore other options – FG warns

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Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said the Federal Government would be forced to explore other options if next week’s negotiations with the Academic Union of Universities (ASUU) fails.

Ngige stated this Friday during an appearance on Politics Today on Channels Television.

However, he expressed optimism that the negotiations would bring an end to the eight-month strike embarked upon by the university lecturers.

Recall that ASUU embarked on the ongoing strike on March 24, 2020, over the Federal Government’s insistence on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) which the union rejected and failure to keep to the terms of a 2009 Agreement.

But Ngige instituted that the union must be ready to compromise since the government had met six of its nine demands.

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“Even if countries go to war, at the end of the day they come to the negotiation table. I’m inviting them (ASUU) next week.

“We are doing side meetings on our part and we are collating everything. I’m collating responses from the Accountant General of the Federation’s Office and everybody who has something to do with this matter.

“When asked if it meant that the lecturers may not return to the classrooms in the next one or two weeks, he said, “I’m not looking at that (long) period.

“I’m an optimist on this matter. By next week, we will conclude this matter. There are so many options left. We have the labour laws and I have options left to me in the labour laws. I have other channels,” Ngige said.

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He noted that the University Transparency Academic Solution (UTAS) payment platform recommended by ASUU was still being tested by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the agency mandated to follow-up the trial with the union.

 

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