• Monday, July 15, 2024
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Ngige appeals to striking ASUU staff to resume

FG optimistic ASUU strike will end soon

Chris Ngige, the minister of labour and employment has appealed to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to suspend the union’s ongoing strike and return back to classrooms.

Ngige made the appeal on Thursday, in Abuja, while condemning the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC’s) ultimatum for ending the strike.

The labour union had mandated the federal government to set up a high-powered panel made up of members with requisite commands to resolve within 21 days to address the industrial impasse between ASUU and the government.

However, Ngige faulted the conditions given by the NLC, stating that the federal government already had in place its own high-powered team, which comprises the chief of staff, the ministers of labour, education, finance, communication and digital economy.

The minister in his statement disclosed that the federal government cannot be able to pay the 200 percent rise in emoluments of university workers proposed by the former renegotiation committee headed by Jubril Munzali.

Read also: Strike: ASUU urges Nigerians to prevail on FG to save education system

“There is no point giving you percentages on paper that nobody can pay. Munzali worked out a percentage that placed the university workers on about 200 percent pay rise.

“The federal government through the education ministry said they cannot pay. The ministry of finance said they cannot pay. They came to me and I said nothing is wrong with renegotiation because even if a collective bargaining agreement is signed, it could be renegotiated.

“The document produced by Munzali was not signed by both ASUU and the federal government. It is a proposal. Manzali’s committee had elapsed. The education ministry didn’t act as I wanted.

“The minister was away but his lieutenants didn’t do anything for five months, contrary to my expectations. The minister has set up another committee headed by Nimi Briggs. They have been working and I have given them six weeks to come up with a proposal,” Ngige said.