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FG urges the judge to order the striking ASUU to resume work.

FG urges the judge to order the striking ASUU to resume work.

Following the breakdown of negotiations between the union and the Federal Ministry of Education, the Federal Government has submitted the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) protracted strike to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) for resolution.


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The referral document, written to the Registrar of NICN, was dated September 8, 2022, and Senator Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, signed it.

The Federal Government requested the NICN to investigate the legality, if any, of the ongoing prolonged strike by the ASUU leadership and members, which had continued even after being apprehended by the Minister of Labour and Employment. The matter was scheduled for mention by 9am on Monday, September 12, 2 022.

The government asked the court to interpret Section 18 LFN 2004 in its entirety, particularly as it relates to the cessation of strike once a trade dispute is apprehended by the Minister of Labour and Employment and conciliation is ongoing. The government’s request was made in a statement signed by Olajide Oshundun, Head, Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Other requests are as follows: “Interpret the provisions of Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act, Cap T8. LFN 2004, titled “Special Provision with Respect to payment of wages during Strikes and Lock-outs,” specifically dealing with the rights of employees/workers during the period of any strike or lock-out. Can ASUU or any other union that embarked on strike be asking to be paid salaries even with clear provisions of the law.

“Determine whether ASUU members are entitled to emoluments or “strike pay” during their period of strike, which commenced on February 14, 2022, moreso in view of our national law as provided in Section 43 of the TDA and the International Labour Principles on the right to strike as well as the decisions of the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association on the Subject.”

“Determine whether ASUU has the right to embark on strike over disputes as is the case in this instance by compelling the Federal Government to employ its own University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) in the payment of the wages of its members as against the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) universally used by the Federal Government in the nation for payment of wages of all her employees in the Federal Government Public Service of which university workers including ASUU members are part of or even where the government via NITDA subjected ASUU abd their counterpart UPPPS university payment platform system software to integrity test (vulnerability and stress test) and they failed.”

The Federal Government also requested that the court assess the extent of ASUU’s demands since the union and government signed a Memorandum of Action (MOA) in 2020. The requests include money for public university revitalization in accordance with the 2009 agreement, Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) payments, the expansion of state universities, the creation of visitation panels, and the distribution of a white paper on the visitation panels’ report. The other two are the reorganization of the government renegotiation team in preparation for the 2018–2019 renegotiation of the 2009 agreement, which was renegotiated in 2013–2014, and the transfer of ASUU members from IPPIS to its own UTAS, which is presently being tested at NITDA.

Since the NICN is handling the issues in contention in accordance with Section 18 (I) (b) of the TDA Cap T8, the Federal Government asked the court to make an order allowing ASUU members to return to work in their various universities. LFN 2004.

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Daniel Mathias

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