Ngige not headache of varsity lecturers, ministry clarifies
ADC tasks FG on the immediate resolution of ASUU strike
The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment has warned those accusing its minister, Dr. Chris Ngige, of being a headache for the university lecturers to desist forthwith.
This came on the heels of a lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other related bodies.
A statement by the ministry’s Head, Press and Public Relations, Olajide Oshundun, made some clarifications, which, it said, were necessary for the public to understand its role as conciliators and arbitrators in a labour dispute.
Oshundun said: “ASUU should know that we are arbitrators and conciliators. We cannot manufacture agreements. Regardless, we are not constrained from listening to the government side and pushing them to do their own bit as quickly as possible.”
He clarified why the union was not invited to last Thursday’s meeting at the Presidential Villa.
Media reports had, last week, quoted Ngige as saying relevant agencies will hold a meeting pertaining to the ongoing industrial action the next day.
Already, ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said his union did not receive any invitation, stating that they were sidelined.
However, the statement explained that the meeting was meant for only inter-ministerial departments and agencies and committees of the Federal Government, adding that none of the university-based unions, including ASUU, was invited.
RELATEDLY, African Democratic Congress (ADC), yesterday, challenged the government on the immediate and permanent resolution of the lingering ASUU strike.
Its National Chairman, Chief Ralphs Nwosu, in a statement, said the appeal has become necessary for the students, who have been at home for months, to immediately resume classes.
The opposition party expressed disgust over the impasse, stating that it was “saddening that the APC (All Progressives Congress) government holds education and youth development in contempt.”
It maintained that it was morally wrong for students to remain at home due to the avoidable strike.
Nwosu observed: “We are playing with the future of a whole generation, and by extension, our whole future.”
The Federal Government should look for money, just as it looked for money to execute elections, and build rails from Nigeria to Niger, to sort out ASUU. Human development comes before infrastructure development.”