FG apologizes to students, parents over ASUU strike

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The Federal Government (FG) has apologized to students and parents for the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ prolonged strike (ASUU).

In a statement issued by Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige assured students that the heinous situation would not reoccur in the future.

ASUU went on strike on February 14, 2022, citing, among other things, poor member welfare. Following a Court of Appeal ruling last week, the union’s leadership decided to suspend the strike during a meeting that began Thursday night and lasted into the early hours of Friday.

In his statement, Ngige, who said the strike was unnecessary in the first place, praised those who worked with the government to resolve the impasse.

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Read full statement:

Ngige Commends Nigerians as ASUU ends strike.

The Ministry of Labour and Employment has expressed gratitude to all Nigerians who participated in various ways in the negotiations leading to the calling off  of the eight-month strike by the Academic Staff Union of Nigeria(ASUU)

A statement by the Deputy Director Press in the Ministry, Olajide Oshundun, Friday assured Nigerians that with the steps the federal government is taking, Nigerian students will be saved  the unpalatable experience of  intermittent, prolonged industrial actions in future.

“In a special way, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige expresses gratitude to the Honourable  Speaker,  Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and the leadership of the House of the House of Representatives.

“We particularly  recognize the patriotic efforts of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji  Saad Abubakar III, the former President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Supo Ayokunle,  all members of Nigeria Inter Religious Council (NIREC) and  the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria  whose wisdom and intervention raised a ray of hope while the strike was at infancy but for ASUU’s  intransigence to negotiation.

“We were forced to migrate the matter to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) created by the 1999 Constitution as amended, for the settlement of industrial disputes because every channel of negotiation including the tripartite plus, in which eminent Nigerians participated in failed.  We were left with no other option than to trigger Section 17 of the Trade Disputes Act .CAP T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 on dispute resolution mechanism in seeking the intervention of the National Industrial Court .

“ Now that ASUU has decided to obey the judgement of the National Industrial Court by calling off the devastating action, we apologize to all students and parents , of which the Honorable Minister is one, for this unduly prolonged strike, which is  unwarranted ab initio.

“We wish to assure that with the decision, steps and measures being taken by the current administration of  President Muhammadu Buhari, in holistic repositioning of higher education, a groundwork is being laid, of which we are confident, will save Nigerians, this unpalatable experience of incessant strike in future.

“ It is verily our hope that now that the strike has been called off, the National Industrial Court will deal with the substantive issues as contained in the referral letter by the Honourable Minister. This is  to ensure that justice is given to all parties including  ASUU and their employers- the Federal Ministry of Education who acts on behalf of  the Federal Government.”

The statement further noted that the Ministry of Labour and Employment will continue to cooperate with both parties in finding amicable solution to other issues not placed before the industrial court, in finding lasting solution  to the instability in the university system.

“ We certainly can’t be less grateful to the judiciary  for deepening our labour jurisprudence in upholding the essence of the 3rdalteration of the 1999 Constitution , especially as it relates to Sections 243 and 254A.”

Olajide Oshundun

Deputy Director Press and Public Relations

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