From Adanna Nnamanj, Abuja
The federal government has expressed appreciation to the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) and Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) for calling off their nationwide industrial actions.
In a statement signed by Charles Akpan, Deputy Director, Press, on Thursday, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige said the government welcomed the separate decisions of the three unions to call off their strikes, to allow the country enjoy industrial peace and harmony.
‘The JUSUN and PASAN strikes had negative impact on our entire judicial system and state assemblies respectively. Similarly, academic activities were paralysed in our polytechnics for several weeks, owing to the ASUP strike. These strikes had cumulative effect on our justice system, legislative business and our educational system.
‘At last, we are happy and glad that all these troubles have been put behind us, so that the country can move forward. There is no victor, no vanquished. As far as we are concerned here in the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, everybody is a winner. The JUSUN and PASAN strikes have yielded autonomy for state judiciary and legislature. This is yet another history made under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. For us, there is no better June 12 Democracy Day gift to Nigerians than the suspension of these industrial actions.
‘We, therefore, wish to thank all those who contributed to the resolution of the industrial disputes and assure the unions of timely implementation of the agreements the federal government reached with them in the course of the conciliation of the disputes in my office. Our government will not relent in its efforts towards the improvement of the conditions of service of its workforce.’
Ngige appealed to members of JUSUN, PASAN and ASUP to join hands with the federal government to ensure unfettered access to justice and quality education for all Nigerians.
ASUP had earlier in a letter to the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, informed him of the suspension of its strike with effect from Thursday, June 10.
In the letter signed by the Secretary General, Shamma Kpanja, ASUP appreciated the diligence of Senator Ngige and officials of his Ministry in resolving the issues, while praying that this should be sustained towards the realisation of industrial harmony in our campuses through the faithful and timely implementation of all the items contained in the Memorandum of Action.
The union expressed the belief that none of its members would be victimised on account of his or her role in the strike.