The lingering ASUU Strike has been on the front burner of national discourse since February 14, 2022, over a dispute that made varsity lecturers embark on the strike action.
On Friday, The Court of Appeal ordered ASUU to return to work after dismissing the union’s application for a stay of execution of an earlier ruling of the National Industrial Court directing the university lecturers to resume work.
Under the Court of Appeal’s ruling, the Federal Government has threatened to sue the striking lecturers, who are members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities if they fail to resume as ruled by the National Industrial Court.
The Minister of Labour and Employment; Chris Ngige, says labour controllers across the states of the federation are monitoring schools to ensure compliance with the ruling of the Court of Appeal on the strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Mr Ngige, who stated this when he appeared on “Politics Today,” a programme on Channels TV on Friday, insisted that members of ASUU must obey the court order or risk contempt of the court.
Reportedly the court gave the order after dismissing the union’s application for a stay of execution of an earlier ruling of the National Industrial Court directing the university lecturers to resume work.
The three-member panel of the Court of Appeal led by Hamma Barka granted the union permission to appeal the ruling of the industrial court but ruled that it must first resume work to be allowed to file the appeal.
“I have asked labour controllers in the states and the zones to go to the schools and see if the vice-chancellors have opened the gates. If they don’t, they will be charged for contempt,” Ngige said.
While adding that ASUU must return to the NIC in the interest of the students, the Minister noted that he transmitted seven issues to the NIC, one of them being the ‘no work no pay’ policy of the federal government. He stated that the court is going to have a final say on the policy.
“For the benefit of the children, I will advise them to go back to school, and then go back to the court (National Industrial Court). It will grant them either of two things; one, set up an Alternative Dispute Resolution to look at the seven issues I transmitted to the court. The ADR will be domiciled in the court.
“Two, if the claimants and the defendant can go back to their primary root, the Ministry of Education,” he said. Mr Ngige further said that he was forced to take the union to the court after all other efforts failed to address the lingering strike.