The Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has pleaded with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other unions in tertiary institutions who are on strike to welcome dialogue in settling their disputes with the Federal Government.
Osinbajo made this plea on Sunday in Abuja during the 2022 International Workers' Day celebration, themed `Labour, Politics and the Quest for Good Governance and Development in Nigeria’.
ASUU, SSANU, and NASU are currently on strike to emphasise their demands from the Federal Government.
The VP noted that the FG was not oblivious of the ongoing strike by the unions and the fears of the students and parents affected.
“We are not unmindful of the anxieties of our children and their parents who are plagued by thoughts of an uncertain future as they stay home because their universities have been shut by industrial action.
“I appeal to ASUU and the broader labour community to seek the path of dialogue,’’ he pleaded.
Osinbajo also said the disagreement between labour and the government is part of the relationship between the two parties, adding that they have the same goal of making the country work for every citizen.
“But at all times, we have through dialogue found a path forward.
"It is in this spirit that I call on ASUU to embrace dialogue with the Government.
“I call on the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress to help facilitate a resolution of this dispute through dialogue.
“I believe that we can find a path forward in good faith. And this is what we will do,” he added.
The Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige also appealed to organised Labour to keep avoiding actions that are detrimental to the promotion of good governance and the development of Nigeria.
Ngige said that tertiary institutions should embrace building a consensus in times of opposing ideas rather than taking actions that complicate matters.
These actions, according to the minister, affect productivity negatively and lead to joblessness.
Ngige however expressed his disapproval of strikes being the first consideration by unions to emphasise their demands.
He reiterated that aside from being the "competent authority", the government is also an employer.
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