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.
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.
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.