Federal Government Appeals to SSANU and NASU to Suspend Strike Action

In a recent development that has significant implications for the education sector in Nigeria, the Federal Government has made a fervent appeal to the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) to call off their ongoing 7-day warning strike. The strike, which commenced on Monday, March 18, 2024, has been a cause of concern for stakeholders within the academic community.

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Rt. Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, expressed the government’s position in a statement, urging the unions to reconsider their decision and engage in dialogue to resolve the issues at hand. The Minister highlighted the government’s efforts to address the concerns raised by the unions and described the strike as a disregard for these efforts.

According to the statement released by the Director, Press & Public Relations of the ministry, Olajide Oshundun, the Ministry was not officially notified by the unions of their intention to proceed with the strike, which is contrary to the provisions of Section 18 of the Trade Dispute Act. The Ministry had reached out to the union leaders for an emergency meeting to avert the strike, but a physical meeting could not be arranged. A tele-discussion took place instead, and a subsequent meeting date proposed by the Ministry was rejected by the unions.

The Minister emphasized that strike actions do not serve any useful purpose and should be considered a last resort after all conciliation efforts have been exhausted. She appealed to SSANU and NASU to “step back from their hard-line stance and meet the federal government at the table for conciliation.”

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The statement concluded with a broader appeal to all Nigerians, urging them to take steps that are beneficial to the well-being of the country and its citizens. The Minister’s call reflects the government’s desire to ensure the smooth functioning of the educational institutions and the importance of dialogue in resolving industrial disputes.

As the situation develops, it remains to be seen how SSANU and NASU will respond to the government’s appeal. The outcome of this dispute will have a lasting impact on the academic landscape of Nigeria.

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