The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has dragged the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to the National Industrial Court (NIC). This latest move by the Minister of Labour appears to be a desperate measure to end the continuing strike action by ASUU.

It will be recalled that, on February 14, 2022, ASUU embarked on strike owing to the Federal Government’s failure to implement its outstanding agreement with the union.
Since the strike began seven months ago, negotiations between FG and ASUU to resolve the strike action have yielded little result, as the strike rolls on.
In a letter to the Chief Registrar of NIC, titled, “Forwarding of a Referral Instrument in the Trade Dispute between the FG/Federal Ministry of Education and ASUU,” the Minister of Labour requested a swift adjudication of the dispute between the FG and ASUU so as to bring the strike to an end.

Other demands contained in the letter include the interpretation of “the provisions of Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act, Cap T8. LFN 2004, titled ‘Special Provision with Respect to payment of wages during Strikes and Lock-outs,’ specifically dealing with the rights of employees/workers during the period of any strike or lock-out. Can ASUU or any other union that embarked on strike be asking to be paid salaries even with clear provisions of the law?”
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Meanwhile, on Monday September 12, 2022, the National Industrial Court in Abuja entertained the lawsuit brought by the Federal Government against ASUU. The suit was however adjourned to Friday, the 16th of September, 2022. The presiding Justice noted that, as he was only a vacation judge, the case had to be adjourned and will be assigned to another judge.

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