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ASUU Strike: Gbajabiamila Invites Ministers of Education, Labour, ASUU, others to a stakeholders meeting

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By Gloria Ikibah

The Speaker House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, will be meeting with stakeholders in the education sector and the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), towards finding a lasting solution to the lingering strike embarked upon by the academic union about seven months ago.

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In a letter by the Clerk of the House of Representatives, Dr. Yahaya Danzaria, sighted by Naijablitznews.com read:

“The House of Representatives is deeply concerned about the renewed strike which seems to have defied all efforts made to find solution or reach agreement between the Federal Government and the striking University lecturers.

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“The House is more worried on the negative consequences of the strike on the future and quality of education of our teeming youths who have been kept at home for the past six months despite the intervention of the House and several well-meaning Nigerians overtime to see that the matter was resolved.

“In the light of the foregoing, the House hereby request for another opportunity to come together with Stakeholders and leadership of ASUU to seek a amicable resolution without prejudice to the fact that the matter is already in the Industrial Court.

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“You are further required to submit a written presentation of ASUU’s perspective on this matter to the House before the meeting day”.

Expected at the meeting are the Ministers of Education, Labour, ASUU leadership, Nigeria Labour Congress, among others.

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The meeting is scheduled to hold on Tuesday, 20th September, 2022, at the National Assembly Abuja by 3:00pm.

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Education

Formation of CONUA, NAMDA remains illegal – Falana gives reasons

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Nigerian constitutional lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN has explained why the newly-registered academic unions – Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA) and the Nigerian Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA) – by the Minister of Labour and Employment are illegal.

Falana, who gave a legal perspective on the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU-Federal Government fallout in an interview on Arise TV’s Newsday on Wednesday, also x-rayed the implications that come with the new unions.

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He said, “Under the current Labour Law regime in Nigeria, you cannot have two unions or three unions in the same sector.

“In other words, within the academia in Nigeria, there can only be one registered trade union that is the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) registered pursuant to the Trade Union Act as amended.

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“We are going to have to have a mushrooming of trade unions, which threatens industrial peace in the country. We cannot have two unions in the university nor can we have two unions in other unions in the country. Politically it wont work,” he said.

Falana described the registration as illegal and a desperate measure by the government to break the strike.

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He said, “Government has tried various measures but the latest one is perhaps going to embarrass the government because it is an illegal exercise and won’t work. ASUU is today one of the most organized and united trade unions in Africa.

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Education

Strike: Appeal Court ask FG, ASUU to explore out-of-court settlement

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By Francesca Iwambe

The court of appeal sitting in Abuja on Wednesday asked the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to explore the option of an out-of-court settlement in resolving the ongoing strike.

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Justice Polycarp Hamman in his judgment granted the federal government’s application for an interlocutory injunction to restrain ASUU from continuing with the strike.

The judge also ordered members of the union to resume work pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

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Following the judgment, ASUU filed an appeal through its legal team led by Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria, premised on 14 grounds.

The union is, among other things, seeking the leave of the appellate court to file the appeal pursuant to section 243 of the constitution that requires a leave of court to appeal the judgment or ruling of the national industrial court (NIC).

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ASUU is also seeking a stay of execution of the order of the court, pending the hearing and determination of the appeal.

At the court session on Wednesday, Georgewill Abraham, justice of the court of appeal, suggested that parties take 24 hours to dialogue and come up with a resolution that would make Nigerians happy.

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Addressing, James Igwe, FG’s counsel, and Femi Falana, counsel to ASUU, the judge said: “There is time for everything; time for war and time for peace.

“As ministers in the temple of justice, we want to see the two of you as senior lawyers to encourage and explore an amicable settlement of this dispute.

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“In fact, we expect to return to this court on Thursday with good news that the dispute has been thrashed out and all the appreciation of Nigerians will go to you.

“So, talk to your clients to take the interest of the nation into consideration for the sake of our children. As you leave here, go and sit down and talk and resolve the matter”.
Responding, Igwe and Falana agreed to dialogue.

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Falana however pointed out that both parties would have to reach a compromise for the issue to be resolved amicably.

The court has fixed Thursday to hear ASUU’s motion seeking to stay execution of the industrial court’s judgment.

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ASUU has been on strike since February 14 to press home the demand for improved funding for universities, a review of salaries for lecturers, among other issues.

After several meetings between ASUU and the federal government ended in deadlock, the federal government went to the national industrial court to challenge the strike.

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Education

ASUU strike: We are grateful to FG for recognizing us- CONUA coordinator

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The National Coordinator, Congress of University Academics (CONUA), Niyi Sunmonu has released a statement after the Federal Government presented a certificate of registration to the union.

CONUA released the statement in Osogbo, Osun State shortly after the recognition by the Federal Government.

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Recall that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, presented the certificate to CONUA leadership on Tuesday.

CONUA, in the statement, said the union will work towards ensuring that the nation is no longer traumatized by academic union dislocations.

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Sunmomu described the registration of CONUA as a trade union and the validation of the power of the human will.

The National Coordinator of the union, who claimed that they had been struggling since 2018, said, “it asserts the value of courage, initiative, focus, tenacity, patience, forbearance and persistent positive thinking.

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“We are immensely grateful to the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, and his team of diligent staff for insisting on merit, due process and thoroughness all through the processing of our application for the registration of DrUA. The very strict and dispassionate review of our application brought out the best in the membership of the Union.

“We regard the registration of CONUA as a sacred trust and pledge to reciprocate by devoting ourselves unceasingly to the advancement of university education in this country. We would make the details of our programmes available to the public in due course. For now, we are giving the assurance that we would work to ensure that the nation is not traumatized again by academic union dislocations in the country’s public universities.

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“We are also deeply grateful to the numerous personalities and well-wishers whose good counsel and concrete actions have facilitated the success we have witnessed today. We believe in the saying that to whom much is given, much is expected. We would therefore constantly strive to make them all proud of CONUA.

“We appreciate the entire membership of the Union for believing in the righteousness of the CONUA cause and for believing in the leadership of the Union, and thereby remaining salutarily steadfast, even when disconcerting and demoralizing situations arose.”

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