Nigeria’s Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, has explained why the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government are yet to reach an agreement regarding the lingering industrial action.
ASUU on Monday resolved to continue its ongoing nationwide strike for another three months.
The strike started on February 14, 2022, after several reconciliation meetings between both parties proved abortive.
Speaking in Ilorin at a press conference to herald a year-long activity to mark the 40years anniversary of the Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), Keyamo, who was represented by the Director-General of MINILS, Comrade Isa Aremu, said the issue had to do with two dispute of rights and interests.
According to him, the ASUU strike had turned into strife that had worsened the education sector in Nigeria.
He said, “Labour disputes are highly technical issues and need the relevant technical requirements and knowledge to interrogate.
“The issue here are two, dispute of rights and dispute of interests. Among the demands of ASUU is the issue of stagnant payment, which I also fully support. In fact, it is embarrassing for a Prof to be receiving N350,000 as a monthly salary, although the minimum wage should only be for the rock bottom workers. These are issues of right.
“The real conflict is between ASUU and the Ministry of Education. Issues of funding and other agitations are disputes of interest which need a different approach, not to go on strike. Even if you go on strike over a dispute of rights, how long can that last is another question.
“Strike is a temporary stoppage of work, but when you go on strike for 22 months and you shut down the system, that has become a strife.”
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