ASUU Strike: We'll order vice-chancellors to reopen universities – FG

Ngige said the court judgement ordering ASUU to resume work doesn't preclude further consultations and negotiation.

Chris Ngige.

Court ruling: This is coming hours after the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to immediately call off the ongoing strike and return to classrooms.

In a ruling delivered by Justice Polycarp Hamman on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, the court held that the strike was a breach of Section 18(1)(2) of the Trade Disputes Act, which prohibits their action.

FG reacts: In what appears to be an enforcement of the judgement, Ngige in a statement to newsmen on Wednesday night said the government would order vice-chancellors to reopen universities.

The minister also commended the intervention of the House of Representatives to resolve the ASUU debacle, expressing satisfaction with the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila's plan to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on the matter.

He said the intervention couldn't have been better timed considering the President must have also consulted some stakeholders.

Ngige added that whatever money that will be voted to ASUU would go into the 2023 appropriation which is where the National Assembly comes in.

Ngige's word: “The court ruling does not preclude us from going on with further negotiation and consultations. The pro-chancellors met Mr President and made some demands, such as topping up government offers and seeing whether there could be some bailout.

"Mr President said in considering it, he will consult stakeholders. So, he is going to consult everybody.

“If they have shown interest now, it is good and wonderful. When they bring that proposal, the Executive will not have any problem. ASUU should also know that this is a step in the right direction. And all these things have been promised to them by the Minister of Education at their last meeting with him. For me, they should do the needful and get back to the classroom.”

“The government would order the vice-chancellors to reopen the universities in compliance with the order of the court.”

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