Former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) chairman Attahiru Jega claims Chris Ngige, minister of Labour and Employment, is complicting efforts by the President Muhammadu Buhari led government to broker an agreement with the striking the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)
During a program on Arise TV on Tuesday, Jega claimed that Ngige was causing more problems than he was solving, saying that the minister had turned the dispute to a personal quarrel.
“Unfortunately, right now, the minister of labour is not helping matters. He has turned this into a personal quarrel between him and the minister of education on one hand and between himself and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on the other,” Jega said.
“While many other people are trying to find a way of addressing this situation so that students can go back to school and ASUU can go back to work, he is busy creating challenges.
“He now took the matter to the industrial court, now today, he now registered two unions and he is trying to proscribe ASUU.
“If this is allowed by this government, I think this is a recipe for disaster and it may really create more problems than it can solve on this matter of strike in the universities.”
Since February 2022, ASUU has been on strike to pressure President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to meet its demands, which include increased funding for universities and a review of lecturers’ pay among other things.
In an effort to broker a deal that would convince the striking union to end its eight-month strike, the government has met with the lecturers on strike numerous times. The administration of President Buhari, however, has been unable to broker a cease-fire with the lecturers on strike.
However, the lecturers are still determined to see that their demands are satisfied before the strike is called off as a result of the Mr. Buhari government’s actions. The government’s decision to recognise two new academic union factions is one of these recent actions.