BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has explained that the meeting with the combined unions of Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) has been postponed to enable the Federal Government negotiating team harmonise all issues from the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) reached at separate meetings with tiers and arms of government.
Addressing journalists in his office on Tuesday, Ngige said this was necessary to ensure that the meeting with the unions come with a Memorandum of Action (MoA), which is implementable with timelines.
“There is no point rushing to do a meeting that will be fruitless. The Judiciary, the Governors Forum and even the Presidency are involved in this negotiation because the meeting held yesterday was at the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President.
“The arising documents are not yet properly harmonized. It will therefore not be fruitful to hold a negotiation where people speak from irreconcilable positions. It won’t help us and it won’t help the unions either,” he said.
According to the Minister, “the reason is to ensure that the agreement reached at the end of our meeting here is put into action, with timelines for implementation. So if we don’t have a paper that is ready to go, then there will be no point for the talk shop.”
He explained that the members of the unions were in a hurry even as they were properly informed of the little time needed for him to round off a meeting with the government team, comprising the Solicitor-General of the Federation, Mr. Dayo Apata, the Director-General of the Governors Forum, Asishana Bayo Okauru, and the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Senator Ita Enang.
He said the meeting will continue at a date to be announced soon.
“It is better done properly so that the Governors can implement whatever agreement we enter into. The governors hold the ace because they hold the sovereign in their respective states, even though they are sub-nationals but they run the government of those states,” he noted.
He added that the Federal Government believes in autonomy but utmost patriotism and tact have to be exercised to sift the issues in contention.
“Today, fund management committees have been proposed and there is also Sxecutive Order
“This means there is problem and we must be very careful not to create more problems than what we are out to solve,” he explained.