Court To Decide ASUU’s With Withdrawn Salaries – FG

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Mary Ugwuanyi

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has said that only the National Industrial Court, NIC, can direct the Federal Government on whether or not to pay the withdrawn salaries of lecturers.

Ngige disclosed this in Abuja on Sunday, noting that government was anticipating the NIC verdict of NIC on if the withheld eight-month salaries of the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, should be paid or not.

However, the human rights activist and counsel to ASUU, Femi Falana, SAN, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to order the payment of arrears to the university teachers who spent eight months on strike.

Reacting to the development, Ngige said: “The matter is in court. We are waiting for the court to call us back. It is part of the substantive issues remitted to the court for pronouncement; whether they can be paid that (eight months withheld salary arrears) or not.

“The court has not called us. It is when the court calls us and we appear that the issue of out of court settlement or alternative dispute resolution will arise.”

See Also: ASUU: Why We Paid Lecturers Half Salaries – FG

The minister added that he has not held any meeting with ASUU leadership since the suite was filed before the NIC.

The minister said, “Only the court can direct resumption of negotiation with the leadership of ASUU.”

Ngige noted that ASUU leadership petitioned the ministry to court over the registration of two unions namely the Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA) and the Nigeria Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA).

He stressed that the university teachers dragged him and the Registrar of Trade Unions before the NIC over moves to withdraw the registration certificate issued ASUU for failing to submit its audited accounts since 2013.

Source: Nation

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