Dr. Chris Ngige, former Minister of Labour and Employment, has strongly criticized Aminu Goro, a House Committee on Education member, for making false statements and baseless accusations in the House for personal political gain. Ngige clarified that there were no intentions to ban the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Expressing surprise at the lawmaker’s outburst during the farewell session of the 9th House, Ngige urged Goro to familiarize himself with the Trade Union Act of 2004 and refrain from tarnishing the reputation of others for his political survival.
In a statement released by his Media Office, the former minister highlighted, among other points, “The Minister of Labour does not need Presidential approval to withdraw certificates of registration of Trade Unions. The Trade Union Act 2004 permits the Registrar of Trade Unions to cancel a certificate suo moto in Section 7, especially as ASUU had breached Section 3 on the annual rendition of Audited Accounts. ASUU was in default for five years.
“Another Section of Trade Dispute Act; The Essential Services Act Cap T9 permits the President to proscribe any erring Union involved in an illegal strike but all through the 2022 ASUU strike neither the President nor any of his Ministers in Education or Labour mooted such an idea because the Minister of Labour and Employment has done the right thing by the transmission of an Instrument on the issue to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria for adjudication in accordance with Section 17 of TDA. 2004. So former President Buhari and his officials chose the path of the rule of Law in dealing with the unending strike when conciliation failed instead of an arm-twisting proscription as alleged by Aminu Goro.
“Aminu’s cock and bull narrative aimed at sweetening the ears of the audience including fellow outgoing members at the expense of other patriotic Nigerians including the former President should be discouraged by all including the outgoing Speaker. No such incident ever happened on the Executive side and hence the painted scenario never took place at all. This is by no means to say that the Outgoing Speaker and Chief of Staff designates to the President did not contribute to the resolution of the issue with ASUU. He did and passionately too like many others on the government side and the Traditional and Religious leaders. But the ultimate solution and relief came from the Judiciary. Judges of both the NICN and the Court of Appeal who interpreted the relevant sections of the Trade Dispute Act 2004 without fear or favour and ordered ASUU back to the classroom.”