Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has said that the Federal Government has not reached a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
He made this known in a statement by the Head of Press and Public Relations in the Ministry, Olajide Oshundun, on Wednesday.
The minister claims that even in cases where such an agreement is reached between unions and the federal government, it is “the government side”—ministries, departments, and agencies headed by the direct employer—that signs, with the conciliating ministry witnessing.
“This clarification has become necessary given the deluge of deliberate misinformation being dished out to Nigerians by the President of ASUU, Prof. Osodeke, as well as his branch leaders, calling on President Buhari to sign an agreement which they claimed to have reached with the Federal Government,” the statement read.
“We wish therefore, to inform Nigerians that there is no such Collective Bargaining Agreement(CBA) that has been reached between the Federal Government, ASUU and other university unions on the renegotiation of their salaries and allowances(wages). What is in existence is a proposal. Even when such CBA is made, it is not the President who signs it. From available records, no Nigerian President or sovereign signs such.”
ASUU had, on February 14, embarked on industrial action, accusing the Federal Government of failing to meet its demands.
Ngige asserted that there is no collective bargaining agreement, he said, “The true position is that Nigerians are aware that ASUU has been on strike since February 14, 2022, and locked in negotiations on their demand, especially of their conditions of service – wages, salaries, allowances and other public service matters, that should be guided by relevant Federal Government Ministries and agencies – Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Budget office of the Federation, National Salaries Income and Wages Commission, Office of Head of Service of the Federation, through the newly set up Prof. Nimi Briggs Committee.”