The Minister of Labour of Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has advised the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to obey the National Industrial Court’s ruling and call off its ongoing nationwide strike while negotiation is ongoing.
The National Industrial Court had ordered ASUU to call off its ongoing nationwide strike, pending the determination of a suit filed by the Federal Government.
Ngige gave the advise while fielding questions from journalists at the Federal Government of Nigeria, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and European Union: HighLevel Side Event on the margins of the 77th United Nations General Assembly, UNGA, and the Official Launch of the Nigeria Integrated National Financing Framework Report (NIFF).
Ngige said that he expected the lecturers to return to classrooms.
He said, “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.
“For example, the House of Representatives had invited us to come and brief them. And together, they are stakeholders. You heard Mr President said to the committee of Pro-Chancellors when they visited him, that he would do consultation as per the two request on putting an icing on the cake on the government offer to ASUU members and the issue of resettlement fund to cushion the effect of the “no work no pay” situation they found themselves in.
“So, President will look at it, the House of Reps are stakeholders, Ministers we are not only stakeholders, we are advisers to Mr. President by the provisions of the Constitution, Section 5 of the Constitution and 147, that appoints ministers one from each state of the Federation, and we hold regular meetings with him, so we are his chief advisers.
“So, we will interface with the House of Representatives and all of us collectively will advise Mr. President.”