The Federal Government has expressed optimism that the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) strike will end soon.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, stated this after a conciliation meeting between the government negotiating team and the two unions in his office.
Ngige said the government side has made offers to the two unions for them to consult with their various national executive committees (NECs) and revert back.
According to Ngige, a lot of work went into the proposal given by the government side to the two unions, which substantially addressed their demands for judicial and legislative autonomy in the 36 states of the country.
The minister explained that the proposal was produced by the committee of the government side, comprising the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata, Secretary of the Presidential Committee for the Implementation of Judicial and Legislative Autonomy, Ita Enang, representative of the National Judicial Council and the director general of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum.
Ngige said: “A lot of work went in. We have exchanged briefs with JUSUN and PASAN. They have their demands, which they had earlier submitted. The government side has given counter offers and properly addressed the burning issue of financial autonomy for state legislatures and judiciary.”
He explained that questions were asked and answered, while critical observations were made and explained, working on the proposal given by the government side.
Ngige said the meeting has been adjourned with a view to enable JUSUN and PASAN take back the government proposal to their members in their NECs.
“We expect them to work on the documents from tomorrow and if they are satisfied, they should inform us. And you know that when they are satisfied, the logical thing is to call off the industrial dispute.
Ngige said all the discussions have been very fruitful, adding that they have moved from the initial position of ground zero, to ground 85.
He, however, appealed to the striking workers to return to work to enable the government meet the remaining part of their demands.