The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been ordered by a court to end its strike, but Chris Ngige, minister of labor and employment, has stated that this will not preclude talks with the academics about their demands.
When the Nigerian Association of Medical and Dental Academics visited him in Abuja on Wednesday, the minister made this statement.
The National Industrial Court had earlier on Wednesday ordered the academics who were on strike to return to their places of employment.
Since February 14, ASUU has been on strike over issues including university finance, allowances for teachers, and wage reviews, among others.
Ngige said that notwithstanding the court’s decision, the federal government is still willing to talk to ASUU.
He declared, “The court’s decision does not prevent us from continuing with further negotiation and consultations.
It is neither victorious nor defeated.
“You academic doctors are currently ASUU members. Even though you have separated from yourself and are working, you are still present.
We appreciate all that you do to educate your pupils.
The minister also discussed the recent meeting between ASUU and the house leadership and praised the efforts of Speaker of the House Femi Gbajabiamila and other members.
Gbajabiamila had stated that President Muhammadu Buhari would meet with the leadership of the house of representatives after the meeting with the legislators.
“Now that the house has expressed interest, it is excellent and great. The executive won’t have any issues when they present that idea, according to Ngige.
“ASUU should be aware that this is a positive development. At their most recent meeting, the minister of education made them all of these promises.
“In my opinion, they should take the proper action and return to the classroom.”