• Reps summon ministers, ASUU over protracted strike
‘Seun Ibukun-Oni, Abuja – The National Industrial Court on Monday, fixed Wednesday, September 21, 2022, to deliver its ruling on an application filed by the Federal Government against the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), over its ongoing nationwide strike.
Justice Peter Hamman fixed the date on Monday, after the lead counsel to the Federal Government, James Igwe, argued his application, seeking an order of the court restraining ASUU from further continuing with the ongoing nationwide strike.
DAILY COURIER earlier reported that the Federal Government had asked the court to order ASUU to suspend its strike, while it engaged the union to address the dispute.
But the court, at the previous sitting last Friday, adjourned the suit until Monday September 19, to hear the interlocutory injunction of the government.
Igwe had asked the court to give the suit an accelerated hearing due to the urgency of the matter, to enable students to return to school.
He stated that since the matter was already in court, it would be proper for the strike to be called off, pending the determination of the suit.
But counsel to ASUU, Femi Falana (SAN), said the union was currently meeting with stakeholders to ensure that the matter was resolved and appealed to the government to cooperate with the union to resolve the issue.
Lecturers of the Federal Government owned universities had embarked on strike since February 14, 2022, to demand the release of revitalisation funds for universities; deployment of the University Transparency Accountability System (UTAS) for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers; release of earned allowances; the release of the white paper report of the visitation panels to universities and other issues involving the ASUU-FGN 2009 agreement.
The Federal Government had set up a negotiation team to look into the Union’s demand.
However, amid several failed negotiations, the Government had approached the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, to order ASUU to suspend its strike, while it engage the union to address the dispute.
Reps Summon Ministers, ASUU Over Lingering Strike
Meanwhile, the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has summoned the Finance, Labour, and Education ministers, as well as the leadership of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to a Stakeholder meeting on Tuesday, September 20, 2022.
The meeting, according to the invitation letters sighted by DAILY COURIER, is to discuss issues surrounding the ongoing strike by public Varsity lecturers.
In the letter signed by the Clerk of the House, Dr Yahaya Danzaria, the House expressed concerns over the lingering industrial dispute, urging all stakeholders to show presence in the interest of the country.
The letter which has as its subject matter: ‘Invitation to a Stakeholders Meeting with the House Leadership on the ASUU Strike’ reads in full, “The Hon. Speaker House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, hereby invites you to a Stakeholders meeting towards finding a lasting solution to the lingering strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) since.
“The House of Representatives is deeply concerned about the renewed strike, which seems to have defied all efforts made to find a solution or reach an agreement between the Federal Government and the striking University lecturers.
“The House is more worried about the negative consequences of the strike on the future and quality of education of our teeming youths, who have been kept at home for the past six months despite the intervention of the House and several well-meaning Nigerians overtime to see that the matter was resolved.
“In the light of the foregoing, the House hereby requests for another opportunity to come together with Stakeholders and leadership of ASUU to seek an amicable resolution without prejudice to the fact that the matter is already in the Industrial Court.”
“The meeting is scheduled as follows:
Date: Tuesday, 20th September, 2022.
Venue: Hon. Speaker’s Conference Room, New Building, House of Representatives, National Assembly, Abuja.
“You are further required to submit a written presentation of ASUU’s perspective on this matter to the House before the meeting day.
“While looking forward to your esteemed presence, please accept the assurances of the highest consideration of the Rt Hon. Speaker.”