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ASUU Strike: Ngige criticizes education ministry, suggests alternative to strike


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“The bosses in the Federal Ministry of Education do not feel the strike. There are things that are above me. I am not Minister of Education.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said this when he received members of the government side of the 2009 Federal Government/University based unions agreement re-negotiation committee led by its Chairman, Nimi Briggs, on Monday in Abuja.

Mr Ngige said this in a statement signed by Patience Onuobia, the Acting Head, Press and Public Relations, in the ministry.

The minister was speaking against the backdrop of the ongoing strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

He said that as the conciliator, he has been pushing to see that everything contained in the 2020 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the government and the union was done, including the implementation of the renegotiated positions.

He recalled that the renegotiation commenced in 2017 when the Federal Government inaugurated a committee headed by Wale Babalakin who was later replaced by Munzali Jibril, but COVID-19 struck in 2020.

The minister said that in the December 2020 agreement, he gave the government side a timeline to return to the university unions who are their employees to sort everything out.

“I started pushing to see that things were done. What the Munzali committee came up with is a proposal. Both Munzali and ASUU did not sign. At our last meeting in February before ASUU proceeded on strike, we said everyone should go back to his principal.

”I asked Education several times what they had done with the document. We later got information on areas of disagreement. There is nothing wrong with that. It is bound to happen. I told ASUU to put up a committee, they said Munzali committee had expired.

“As a conciliator, I have to make use of the labour instruments at my disposal. The bosses in the Federal Ministry of Education do not feel the strike. There are things that are above me. I am not Minister of Education.

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