Presidential aspirant Ngige says ASUU may face court action

Presidential hopeful and serving minister Chris Ngige has said the federal government might sue the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The lecturers’ body went on strike on February 14. Government efforts at having the lecturers call off their strike has proved futile.

“The solution is that number one, ASUU has to come down from its high horse. You cannot go and start intimidating people in NITDA and threatening the minister of digital economy and communications with revocation of his professorship; that he is a fake professor and that they did not approve it,” he said.

“They went to ABU and said they are going to withdraw the certificate of the director of NITDA. That is bullying. It is not allowed in labour negotiations.”

“The law says we can go to the industrial arbitration panel, which is where I’m supposed to refer this matter to if reconciliation fails, or national industrial court if reconciliation fails.

“It is a double-barrel thing. I will choose the one I want. I will refer. The law says once conciliation has started at my level, you call off the strike.”

The minister also said a new negotiating team, led by Nimi Briggs, would submit its report on Friday.

ASUU is accusing government of underfunding the university. It also rejected government’s decision to enroll its members on the single payment system. Instead, the lecturers decided to build their own payment system called the University Transparency Account System (UTAS).

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