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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Stop Threatening Govt. Officials, Agencies, Ngige Tells ASUU

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By Abdulwaheed Olayinka Adubi

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has warned the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to stop threatening government officials and agencies.

The Minister also accused the labour union of threatening to withdraw the certificate of the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and revoke the professorship of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

Ngige further explained that the Union also called the Minister of Communication a fake professor.

This was made known by Ngige when he appeared as a guest on a Channels Television programme, Politics Today, on Thursday, where he described such actions as against labour negotiations.

He also disclosed that he (Ngige) cannot make a commitment on when the dispute will be resolved, calling on lecturers to do their part.

He said, “It depends on ASUU. The ball is in their court. They should go and meet the Benimi Briggs Committee and look at what the committee is doing and make further inputs so that the work can be accelerated.

“ASUU has to come down from their high horse. You cannot go and start intimidating people in NITDA and threatening the Minister of Digital Economy and Communication with revocation of his professorship that he is a fake professor. You go to ABU and say you are going to withdraw the certificate of the director of NITDA. That’s bullying. It is not allowed in the labour negotiations.’’

He said he is worried by the incessant strikes in public universities in Nigeria, stressing that “he has not slept” in a bid to see that the schools are reopened.

While recalling on the lecturers’ union incessant industrial actions in the last 2 decades, the former federal lawmaker said, ‘’The ASUU issue is a recurring decimal. It is a very sad situation. I am a product of the public school.’’

The minister noted that there would be a meeting of all stakeholders next week as part of moves to resolve the lingering strike.

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