The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment has clarified that it did not invite the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, for a meeting last Thursday.
Okay.ng recalls that the news was making rounds across various platforms online, with reports quoting the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, as saying that relevant agencies would hold a meeting pertaining to the ongoing university strike the next day.
The President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, had revealed during an interview with Channels TV that his union did not receive any invitation.
The Labour Ministry issued a statement on Monday signed by signed by the ministry spoksperson, Olajide Oshundun.
The statement clarified that the meeting reffered to by the Minister was meant for only inter-ministerial departments, agencies and committees of the Federal Government, and none of the university-based unions, including ASUU, was invited.
“These two committees were empanelled by the Honourable Minister and the Chief of Staff to the President at the last tripartite plus meetings of the unions and the government side.
“For the avoidance of doubt, none of the unions was invited to last Thursday’s meeting and the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Dr Chris Ngige, while briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting last Wednesday, June 22, 2022, clarified that the meeting would hold the next day (Thursday, June 23,2022), for the government side alone.
“As expected, the meeting held and all the stakeholders reported on the various assignments given to them and accordingly, received further briefing and directives from the President in order to accelerate discussions with ASUU.
“It is hoped that before Wednesday this week, all the various sub-committees will turn in their reports, to enable Mr. President to be briefed fully and for decisions to be taken on the contentious payment platform and the renegotiation of the conditions of service, especially the issue of wage increase.
“It is after receiving briefings from the government side that the Ministry of Labour will bring all the stakeholders, including the unions, to a conference table to look at the agreement before signing or endorsement.” the statement read inter-alia.
Mr Oshundun further urged the public to disregard insinuations that the ministry of labour does not sympathize with the students, unions and their parents, adding that the minister is also affected by the ongoing strike.
He also noted that the Ministry would not allow itself to be bullied by any union into forcing any payment platform on the Government.