President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Professor Ibrahim Gambari, his Chief of Staff; and Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, to address the strike of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and resolve the issues raised.
Ngige disclosed this to State House correspondents on Friday after a meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Members of JUSUN commenced a nationwide strike on 6 April over the non-implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary at the state level of government.
However, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), after a meeting with Gambari, finally agreed to implement autonomy for state legislature and judiciary from May 2021.
Ngige told journalists after the meeting that he presented the demands of various unions before the president.
He said: “We reviewed what has been done. The chief of staff did what we call in labour parlance ‘tripartite plus arrangement’, by engaging them. Both parties conceded — Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the heads of courts, state judges, the unions, and the presidential implementation committee for executive order 10 led by the attorney-general, but standing in for him by the solicitor-general of the federation and permanent secretary.
“As the conciliator, when they presented the two papers, one from the solicitor-general and another one from the director-general (DG) of the NGF, I had to tell them that we have to reconcile those papers because the areas that they differ are very fundamental areas in terms of the execution of Sections 83 and 162.
“We need the governors to touch this among themselves and come back because, in consultation, I receive documents, issues from the unions, and the NBA, and even the representative of the heads of courts on one side, and then from these government people of NGF, and the solicitor-general of the federation representing attorney-general.
“So, if the government papers are not on the same page, then the discussion will be very difficult and fruitless. So, that is where we are.
“As I finish from here, I’m going to do another meeting with the chief of staff so that we can make a move. The president has directed that we meet and study the situation so that we can advise the government side on what is best for the situation.”