Earlier this week, the Federal Government apologized to Nigerian students and parents for the prolonged strike conducted by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
As a result of the government’s failure to address some of their concerns, the leadership of the public university teachers conditionally suspended the eight-month strike they began on February 14.
All Nigerians who participated in the negotiations leading to the strike call-off were thanked by the federal government through the Ministry of Labour and Employment.
A statement by the Deputy Director Press in the Ministry, Olajide Oshundun, assured Nigerians that
with the steps the federal government is taking, Nigerian students will be saved the unpalatable
experience of intermittent, prolonged industrial actions in future.
According to the statement, “In a special way, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris
Ngige expresses gratitude to the Honourable Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and the leadership of
the House of the House of Representatives.
“We particularly recognize the patriotic efforts of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Saad Abubakar III, the
former President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Supo Ayokunle, all members of Nigeria
Inter Religious Council (NIREC) and the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria whose wisdom and
intervention raised a ray of hope while the strike was at infancy but for ASUU’s intransigence to
“We were forced to migrate the matter to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) created by
the 1999 Constitution as amended, for the settlement of industrial disputes because every channel of
negotiation including the tripartite plus, in which eminent Nigerians participated in failed. We were left
with no other option than to trigger Section 17 of the Trade Disputes Act .CAP T8, Laws of the
Federation of Nigeria 2004 on dispute resolution mechanism in seeking the intervention of the
National Industrial Court .
“Now that ASUU has decided to obey the judgement of the National Industrial Court by calling off the
devastating action, we apologize to all students and parents , of which the Honorable Minister is one,
for this unduly prolonged strike, which is unwarranted ab initio.
“We wish to assure that with the decision, steps and measures being taken by the current
administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, in holistic repositioning of higher education, a
groundwork is being laid, of which we are confident, will save Nigerians, this unpalatable experience
of incessant strike in future.
“It is verily our hope that now that the strike has been called off, the National Industrial Court will deal
with the substantive issues as contained in the referral letter by the Honourable Minister. This is to
ensure that justice is given to all parties including ASUU and their employers- the Federal Ministry of
Education who acts on behalf of the Federal Government.”
The statement further noted that the Ministry of Labour and Employment will continue to cooperate
with both parties in finding amicable solution to other issues not placed before the industrial court, in
finding lasting solution to the instability in the university system.
“We certainly can’t be less grateful to the judiciary for deepening our labour jurisprudence in
upholding the essence of the 3rdalteration of the 1999 Constitution , especially as it relates to
Sections 243 and 254A