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Strike: Ngige hits back at NANS, ASUU

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Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige

•Says labour, employment ministry not employers of striking lecturers

Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, yesterday, said that his ministry is the conciliator in the ongoing dispute disputes between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and Ministry of Education.

The minister stated this in a reaction to a statement credited to the President of the National Association of Nigeria Students (NANS), Sunday  Isefon, which accused him of insensitivity in the ongoing four-week warning strike by ASUU.

The NANS president had also threatened to mobilise students to disrupt the activities of the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

However, a statement signed by Charles Akpan, spokesperson for the Ministry of Labour and Employment  on behalf of Senator Ngige, informed NANS that the ministry was not the employer of the striking university teachers.

 “First is to note that university lecturers who operate under a union of workers, the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU) affiliated to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) are employees of the universities being overseen on behalf of the Federal Government by the National Universities Commission, a  parastatal under the Ministry of Education. The Federal Ministry of Education being in charge of everything education is hence the employers of all workers in the education sector, including academic and non-academic staff of federal universities.  The Ministry of Labour for clarity is the conciliator of disputes between workers and their employers in various ministries, in this case ASUU and Ministry of Education.

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“It is thus completely false that the Minister of Labour and Employment hasn’t  paid attention to monitoring  the implementation of the December 2020 ASUU/ FG Memorandum of Action. Apart for the Federal Ministry of Education , other ministries, departments and agencies involved in the agreement include the National Universities Commission, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget & National Planning, Budget office of the Federation, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA). Though not assigned to it in the MOA, the Minister of Labour and Employment has been monitoring the implementation of the MOA to ensure compliance.”

The statement further said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration and the Ministry of Labour and Employment have done a lot since 2015 to enthrone a  peaceful national industrial milieu to put an end to the unending ritual of strike by ASUU.

 “The Ministry since November 2015 have successfully conciliated 1786 trade disputes, would wish to join issues with students who certainly do not  have enough information about the commitment of the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige to the return of stability and excellence to the universities, indeed his untiring efforts to enthrone a  peaceful  national industrial milieu, it is imperative we make salient clarifications on the misinformation and misrepresentation on what has become  an unending ritual of strike by ASUU vis a vis the ongoing action.”

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The statement said the ministry never received any official communication from ASUU on any impending strike as required by Labour Laws. He questioned why  ASUU was in  regular breach of the laid down procedure for embarking on strike. 

 On the 2009 renegotiated agreement, the minister said: “A committee on this had initially headed by Dr. Wale Babalakin SAN and later Professor Manzalli. This is an Education Ministry’s internal committee mandated by the parties to look into the issues of salaries/allowances in the  universities and other item of conditions of Service. ASUU reported at the last conciliation that the committee had finished its work and handed in but the Education Minister reported to me when he came back from a long sick leave that the committee was being reconvened to complete their work after which it would be forwarded to the conciliation meeting from where if both parties agree on the work, it would be forwarded to the Presidential Committee on Salaries(Wages)

 “The Minister of Labour  made this explanation and advised ASUU to get back to the Minister of Education  so as to forward that aspect of the negotiation as their employers so that it will also be transmitted fast to PCS. With all these explanation,  it’s clear that the Minister of Labour  has continued to be proactive on matters affecting ASUU and in fact all the Universities based workers union like NASU,SSANU, SSARTRAI and other to prevent undue disruption of academic activities in the university system.

 “NANS should appreciate the uncommon efforts and tireless work put in even far into the nights by the Labour Ministry and staff particularly when issues pertaining  to education and health, two  critical areas in our Industrial relations between employers and employees, now made very sour by increased cost of living and low purchasing power of present wages.”

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Education

WAEC releases 2022 WASSCE results

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The West African Examinations Council has released the results of the 2022 West African Senior School Certificate Examination for school candidates.

Speaking on Monday at WAEC office, Yaba, the Head of Nigeria Office, WAEC, Mr Patrick Areghan, said, “The results are being uploaded on the results website. Candidates who sat the examination and who have fulfilled their financial obligations to the Council can access their results on the Council’s results website within the next twelve hours.

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“Copies of the Result Listing will be sent to schools shortly. I need not restate the fact that the results of candidates who are sponsored by states indebted to the Council will not be released now until they pay up. We appeal to them to do so to enable the affected schools/candidates access their results.”

He added that some schools failed to upload their students’ Continuous Assessment Scores Capturing System at the stipulated time and many failed to meet registration deadlines, to the extent that some schools ended up not presenting their students for the examination.

“Yet, some who registered their students off-line failed to upload their entries! This showed unacceptable level of nonchalance. Again, others failed to meet deadlines due to criminal ‘shopping’ for candidates. By the time they realised it, the window had closed,” he said.

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Education

Oyo denies returning schools to original owners

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Oyo State Government has denied a report that it is planning to return some schools to their original owners, whether to missionaries or individuals.

The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Abdulrahman Abiodun Abduraheem, said there was no time the government took such decision.

He said that the only recent event where Governor Seyi Makinde spoke about ownership of schools was at Loyola College during the commissioning of a hall named after the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, where he only advised members of the old students association of the school to direct their request to the Ministry of Education.

“There is clearly no truth to the story making the rounds that the government of Oyo State was about to return schools to their original owners.

“The government does not have the such intention and there was nowhere Governor Seyi Makinde, made that statement.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the governor was confronted about a possible return of Loyola College, Ibadan, to the old students association and he urged the association to direct its request to the Ministry of Education for necessary engagement.

“He did not give any directive on the return of the school or any school, whatsoever.”

It also stated, “It is true that the state has developed a proof of agreement with the Incorporated Trustees of GCIOBA, but that does not in any way amount to a blanket return of all schools to their original owners.

“While the state will not shy away from productive partnership with stakeholders in the education sector to support its policy of free and qualitative education, it will not take any step capable of upsetting the cord of alliance already existing in a highly treasured sector like education.

“Let me use this opportunity to address some interests who appear bent on twisting the submission of the governor on this subject upside down to look for other things to do as it is clear they will not succeed in the inglorious path of attempting to whip up religious sentiments on this issue.”

 

 

 

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Education

FG can’t borrow N1.1trn to end ASUU strike – Keyamo

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Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr. Festus Keyamo

• Education minister to ‘submit a proposal on how to end ASUU strike soon’

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