The Minister of Labour and Empowerment, Chris Ngige, on Wednesday, said he would hold a meeting with the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities to find a lasting solution to issues leading to the ongoing strike embarked upon by the union.
In a statement signed by the Director of Press at the ministry, Samuel Olowookere, which also responded to a statement credited to Femi Falana (SAN), where he described the no-work-no-pay policy of the government as illegal, Ngige said every policy of the government was backed by the provision of the International Labour Organisation, stressing that while ILO backed strike, it also recognised provision to withhold wages.
The statement said, “The minister had earlier in the exercise of his powers sent back the conciliation to the Federal Ministry of Education as he noticed during the first meeting that both parties have not exhausted the internal conciliation mechanism. Knowing that ASUU and her members are on essential services as contained in the Trade Dispute Act, the minister has therefore directed that the matter is re-apprehended back into his ministry to avoid unnecessary meddlesomeness by external interlopers as well as to ensure speedy resolution of all issues to enable ASUU to call off the strike.
Hence, the minister in the exercise of his powers in section 5 of the Trade Dispute Act has re-apprehended the dispute and invited all parties to a meeting. By this, all further discussions between the Ministry of Education and ASUU will now recommence at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
“A meeting has been convened for Monday, December 10, 2018, at the Conference Room of the Minister of Labour and Employment. The ministry will also further investigate the media report credited to Mr Falana to ascertain whether he actually quoted those Supreme Court judgments, knowing full well that they are tangential and that they neither anchor nor dwell on provisions of section 43 of Trade Dispute Act T8 ( LFN 2004) before it will take further necessary action.”