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Labour ministry’s role in resolving ASUU strike is voluntary – Chris Ngige


What the government is doing about ASUU strike: He said the government was considering an upgrade of the Industrial Arbitration Panel to a commission where irreconcilable issues could be transferred to.


The workshop is organised by the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) in collaboration with the International Labour Organisation (ILO).


Why Ministry of Labour volunteered to help in ASUU strike: The minister said that voluntary conciliation was adopted instead of arbitration in order not to delay the resolution process with the striking lecturers.


“I could have transmitted the matter to the IAP or the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN).


“But I used my discretion to weigh the situation to know if it would cause more delay in the resolution of the dispute in a court process,” he said.


The minister, however, recalled that ASUU had embarked on strike on February 14 and voluntary conciliation started on February 22 and subsequently, on March 1.


Some issues have been solved: According to him, by the second meeting, most of the issues arising from the 2020 Memorandum of Action (MOA) signed between ASUU and the Ministry of Education with other government agencies involved were conciliated leaving out only two.


“The two outstanding issues were the conditions of service, which according to the 2009 Agreement would be reviewed every four years.


“The last review was in 2013 and we started the review in 2018 under Wale Babalakin (SAN) as the chairman of the renegotiation committee. We could not conclude because Babalakin left.


“A new committee headed by Munzali came. Munzali finished his work and put in his report at the Federal Ministry of Education,’’ he said.


He noted that all the committees including the previous Onosode committee were all internal committees of the Ministry of Education.


He said that they discussed with the unions and gave them offers and counter offers vis-a-vis what they wanted.


“Once the committees finished, their products are sent up.


“The major issue here is salary and wage review. That is where they are before ASUU embarked on strike,’’ he said.


Mr Ngige said that once a strike occurred, it triggered the content of the Trade Dispute Act (TDA) on how to resolve the industrial action.

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