Federal Government of Nigeria to settle with ASUU Lecturers over the ongoing strike
The Federal Government may negotiate an out-of-court settlement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities after bringing the union before the National Industrial Court, Newsmen has learned.
ASUU’s president, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, announced the union’s seven-month strike on February 14, 2022, at the University of Lagos.
The government’s refusal to uphold earlier agreements negotiated with the union, according to the union, forced it to go on strike.
The union has made a number of demands, some of which are the release of funds for university revitalization, payment of lecturers’ earned allowances, implementation of the University Transparency Accountability System as the platform for university lecturers’ payment, and renegotiation of the ASUU-FG 2009 agreement.
The government had formed a commission under the leadership of Emeritus Professor Nimi-Briggs to lead the government’s negotiating team in an effort to end the strike and other contentious matters.
During a news conference, the minister of education, Adamu Adamu, stated that the strike was being held up by the government’s unwillingness to agree to pay the teachers’ wages for the six months they had spent at home.
According to him, ASUU requested that professors be paid for the time they were on strike.
But Chris Ngige, the minister of labor and employment, took the striking university professors to court.
Ngige requested that the case be heard quickly in order to settle the conflict between the union and the government in a letter dated September 8 and written to the Chief Registrar of the Industrial Court.
He requested that the court interpret Section 18 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (2004) in its totality, particularly as it relates to the suspension of strike action after a trade dispute has been settled.
The case, which Justice Hamman Polycarp first heard on Monday, September 12, 2022, was postponed until September 16.
Meanwhile, if the striking lecturers call off their strike and return to work, the government may contemplate an out-of-court settlement, according to a source in the Ministry of Labour and Employment who talked with one of our journalists in strict confidence on Thursday.
According to the source, the government’s efforts to get the academics back to work were unsuccessful, which is why they were forced to appear in court.
The insider stated, “If they consent to return to work, we may negotiate an out-of-court settlement.
We originally took them to court because they denied our requests that they come back to work.
We attempted to reconcile with them by meeting with them often, but they balked.
Going to court is done so that the judge can order them to start working again.
There is no reason to proceed with the lawsuit if they consent to resume.