“No Intention to Ban ASUU during Buhari’s Administration, States Ngige”

“No Intention to Ban ASUU during Buhari’s Administration, States Ngige”

Former Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has criticized Aminu Goro, a member of the House Committee on Education, for what he considers to be false claims and unwarranted attacks aimed at political gain.

Ngige specifically refuted the assertion that there were plans to ban the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

During the valedictory session of the 9th House of Representatives, Ngige expressed his surprise at the lawmaker’s remarks and advised him to familiarize himself with the Trade Union Act of 2004. He urged Goro not to tarnish the reputation of others for the sake of political survival.

Ngige’s Media Office issued a statement clarifying the situation. It emphasized that the Minister of Labour does not require presidential approval to revoke trade unions’ registration certificates. According to the Trade Union Act 2004, the Registrar of Trade Unions has the authority to cancel a certificate on their own initiative, particularly in cases where a union has violated Section 3 by failing to submit audited accounts annually. In the case of ASUU, they had been in default for five years.

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“Another Section of Trade Dispute Act; The Essential Services Act Cap T9 permits the President to proscribe any erring Union involved in an illegal strike but all through the 2022 ASUU strike neither the President nor any of his Ministers in Education or Labour mooted such an idea because the Minister of Labour and Employment has done the right thing by the transmission of an Instrument on the issue to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria for adjudication in accordance with Section 17 of TDA. 2004. So former President Buhari and his officials chose the path of the rule of Law in dealing with the unending strike when conciliation failed instead of an arm-twisting proscription as alleged by Aminu Goro. 

“Aminu’s cock and bull narrative aimed at sweetening the ears of the audience including fellow outgoing members at the expense of other patriotic Nigerians including the former President should be discouraged by all including the outgoing Speaker. No such incident ever happened on the Executive side and hence the painted scenario never took place at all. This is by no means to say that the Outgoing Speaker and Chief of Staff designates to the President did not contribute to the resolution of the issue with ASUU. He did and passionately too like many others on the government side and the Traditional and Religious leaders. But the ultimate solution and relief came from the Judiciary. Judges of both the NICN and the Court of Appeal who interpreted the relevant sections of the Trade Dispute Act 2004 without fear or favour and ordered ASUU back to the classroom.”

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