By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah,
The minister of Labour And Productivity, Chris Ngige has disclosed that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will lead the federal government negotiation team with the Academic Staff Union of Universities ( ASUU).
LEADERSHIP recalls that on August 14, ASUU embarked on indefinite strike action in response to the federal government’s failure to fulfill the 2009 agreement it reached with the union.
The union also on Tuesday shunned a meeting scheduled with the federal government to address the concerns raised in an earlier agreement between them for which ASUU has been on strike.
ASUU President, Biodun Ogunyemi stated that the union had submitted a proposal to the federal government and is yet to receive a reply from government, hence, would not attend any meeting with it until the union gets a reply.
Speaking to State House Correspondents yesterday after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, the minister said the government is leaving no stone unturned in making sure they reached a conclusive agreement with ASUU.
According to him “The government thanks the parents and even the students who are supposed to take their exams and promotional exams now but have been forced by circumstances beyond their control to stay at home.
“ I have one of my children at home as we speak. Government is leaving no stone unturned to make sure that we reach a conclusive agreement with ASUU so that they can go back to the class room. This is the first national strike that this government is facing and we want to discuss.”
“ At council today, the Vice President has taken over some of the aspects of the negotiations and discussions, so we are continuing the meeting in his office and when we finish meeting, we will get back to ASUU for another round of meeting and we are hopeful that we will be able to go to an appreciable extent to solve some of the outstanding issues that is preventing them from going back to work,” he stated.
On minimum wage committee, Ngige said the committee on the government side is ready.
The minister said the chairman of the minimum wage review committee had not been announced owing to delay by the private sector.
He explained that the government side has four ministers – ministers of Labour and Employment, Finance, Budget and Planning, and that the team is ready.
He added that, “ We also have head of service of the federation, acting secretary to the federal government on the government team. The chairman will be unveiled when we have full component of the committee. The aspect that is delaying from inaugurating the committee is the organised private sector.
“The organised private sector has eight representatives of which Nigeria Employers Committee Assembly has four nominations, we have not gotten their nominations. Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, two nominations, their nominations just came in yesterday. Nigeria Association of Small, Medium, Enterprise one, they have not sent in their nomination.
“NACCIMA have not sent in their nominations. So we are waiting for these nominations, when they come in the government will nominate the chairman and inaugurate the committee.”
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