From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
The Federal Government has announced that courts and state assemblies will re-open next week, sequel to the resolution of the nationwide industrial dispute of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) over the non-implementation of autonomy for State judiciary and legislature by the governors.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige made the disclosure while briefing journalists in his office on Friday after a short meeting between Government representatives and the unions to finalize and sign the Memorandum of Action (MOA) reached on May 20, 2021.
Ngige also disclosed that the 36 Governors led by the Chairman of the Governors Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and his Deputy, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, had stamped the document behalf of their colleagues on the May 20th when they reached the agreement.
According to him, with what they achieved at the meeting, it is expected that the courts and state assemblies would re-open next week, since all the grey areas had been smoothened.
“So today we met with the unions in a small dialogue to dot the i’s and cross the t’s in the agreement which we agreed will take effect from 20th of May.
“Right now, we expect the unions to go back to their members and give them final briefing on what we have achieved today.
“And with this achievement of today, we are hopeful that by next week, the chambers of our courts and the doors of the state assemblies will be open for business activities to begin.”
Ngige affirmed to the disservice the strike had caused the Nigeria’s justice system adding that the situation had posed serious challenges to the nation, especially as the courts are closed and the law enforcement agencies have no place to take arrested criminals.
He therefore thanked the unions for all the efforts put in place in this final round of the dialogue in which the modalities that were not very clear the last time they met had been sorted to the satisfaction of both sides.
The Deputy President of JUSUN, Comrade Emmanuel Abisoye thanked Ngige for his efforts in resolving the dispute, saying that he expects all the parties to fulfill their own part of the agreement.
Abisoye assured that JUSUN would keep to it’s own end of the bargain while urging the government to do same in order to ensure that industrial harmony returns to the courts.
The President of PASAN, Comrade Mohammed Usman expressed hope that all stakeholders would do the needful as soon as possible period to ensure that the workers in the state legislatures return to work.
similarly, the President of Nigeria Lad Mr. President and the Labour Minister for their efforts thus far to attain autonomy for the state legislature and judiciary.