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FG Declares ASUU Strike Illegal

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Ganiyat Ganiyu

The Federal Government has declared the two-week warning strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, illegal.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, disclosed this after the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday, in Abuja.

The government described the warning strike which the union began on Monday, illegal and a pure act of corruption, because the union failed to notify it before embarking on the strike.

The union has been at loggerheads with the government over the directive to enroll its members into the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System, IPPIS.

The National President of the union, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, declared the warning strike after ASUU National Executive Council meeting in Enugu.

While addressing reporters after the federal executive council meeting, Chris Ngige, said employees cannot dictate to their employers and due processes must be followed before embarking on strike action.

Ngige said, “I am in shock. The strike is illegal because they did not give us the mandatory notice.

“If you withdraw services and you still want to be paid, it is corruption. Is that not corruption?”

The Minister, however, said he would meet with the union today along with the Minister of Education, Minister of Finance and the Accountant General of the Federation and hope that the matter would be resolved.

He said: “So to solve the dilemma, I have invited them to the meeting for tomorrow (Thursday). I have invited the minister of education, their principal employer, the finance ministry and the accountant general of the federation.

“So, we will meet and discuss the way forward because no employee is empowered to dictate to his employer on how he or she should be paid.

“There is an ILO convention on it. The important thing is that you receive your compensation for services rendered or work done as and when due.

“So, we hope to solve the problems. ASUU are Nigerians, they are patriotic but tomorrow we hope to engage them.’’

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