Minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, has disclosed that the court order directing the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to suspend its strike will not prevent negotiations with the lecturers on their demands.
Ngige said “the government will order the vice-chancellors and pro-chancellors to reopen the universities in line with the court order.”
He said this while receiving members of the Nigerian Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA) in his office in Abuja.
“THE RULING IS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE NATION. IT IS A WIN-WIN SITUATION FOR ALL OF US- GOVERNMENT, STUDENTS, LECTURERS- ALL NIGERIANS INDEED. I HAVE JUST GOTTEN THE COURT ORDER ASKING ASUU TO GO BACK TO WORK. IT IS A SOUND JUDGMENT. IT IS NO VICTOR, NO VANQUISHED.
“YOU DOCTORS IN ACADEMICS ARE FOR NOW MEMBERS OF ASUU, BUT, YOU ARE HERE, EVEN THOUGH YOU HAVE DISSOCIATED YOURSELF AND ARE WORKING. WE WANT TO THANK YOU FOR WORKING AND TEACHING YOUR STUDENTS.
“THE COURT RULING DOES NOT PRECLUDE US FROM GOING ON WITH FURTHER NEGOTIATION AND CONSULTATIONS. THE PRO-CHANCELLORS MET MR. PRESIDENT AND MADE SOME DEMANDS, SUCH AS TOPPING UP GOVERNMENT OFFERS AND SEEING WHETHER THERE COULD BE SOME BAILOUT.
“MR. PRESIDENT (MUHAMMADU BUHARI) SAID IN CONSIDERING IT, HE WILL CONSULT STAKEHOLDERS. SO, HE IS GOING TO CONSULT EVERYBODY.”