The Federal Government has decided to take the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to court over the lingering strike.
Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, disclosed this in an official letter dated September 8 and addressed to the Chief Registrar of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Abuja.
In the letter, the minister said that the government took ASUU to court because talks between both parties have collapsed.
Ngige asked the court to give an accelerated hearing to the case in order to bring the issue of the strike to an end.
The letter was titled: “Forwarding of a referral instrument in the trade dispute between federal government/federal ministry of education and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)”
It partly read, “In view of the fact that ASUU members have been on strike since February 14 and have refused to call off the action despite the apprehension of same, it would be appreciated if this dispute is given an accelerated hearing in order to bring the dispute to an end.”
The minister went further to state that his letter was in line with powers vested on him by the trade dispute resolution mechanism and the provision of Section 17 of the Trade Dispute Act. CAP. TB. Laws.
New Pay Rise For Lecturers
It would be recalled that the FG had announced a pay rise for university lecturers, and promised that N150 billion shall be provided for in the 2023 Budget as funds for the revitalisation of federal universities.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who made the announcement during a meeting with Pro-Chancellors and Vice Chancellors of Federal Universities last Tuesday, said the government would not sign any other agreement it cannot implement.
Adamu said President Muhammadu Buhari had warned the government’s team involved in the negotiation with ASUU against signing an agreement that the government would not be able to fulfil.
But the minister’s announcement on the pay rise did not go down well with the varsity lecturers as they rejected it.
In an interview, ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, asked the government to keep its pay rise, insisting that the government must sign what they agreed on during their collective bargain.