The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has advised the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to obey the National Industrial Court ruling and call off its seven-month nationwide strike while negotiations continue.
Persecondnews recalls that the court had on Wednesday, September 21, ordered ASUU to call off its ongoing strike pending the determination of the suit filed by the Federal Government against the union.
Delivering a ruling on the government’s application, Justice Polycarp Hamman, restrained ASUU from continuing with the strike and ordered that the case file should be returned to the President of the Industrial Court for reassignment to another judge as he is a vacation judge.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14, 2022, to press home their demands on the revitalization of public universities, earned academic allowances, University Transparency Accountability Solution, UTAS, promotion arrears, and renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement.
Others are adoption of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) of the government as the payment system in the federal universities.
Ngige gave the advise while speaking to journalists at the Federal Government of Nigeria, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and European Union: HighLevel Side Event on the Margins of the 77th of the United Nations General Assembly and the Official Launch of the Nigeria Integrated National Financing Framework Report (NIFF).
On how soon ASUU will call off the strike with the ruling, he said: “I’m not ASUU but the maximum in law is that when there is a court judgment or ruling or order you must first obey and then we can apply for an appeal if you so desire or apply for a stay, that is, stay of execution.
“So the maximum in law, jurisprudence and everything about the law, is that you obey the court’s ruling, judgment or order, no matter how bad. The qualifying thing is that no matter how bad and no matter how you disagree with it, you first obey. Like the military people say, obey before complain.
“So we expect them to get back to the classrooms but that doesn’t foreclose negotiations; the negotiations should be on as a matter of fact, it will be on officially and non-officially.“