Ngige Urges ASUU To Call Off Strike And Speaks On Minimum Wage
Labour and Employment Minister, Chris Ngige has appealed to teachers under the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to show mercy on students by calling off their strike.
Naija News recalls that members of ASUU began a nationwide strike since November, last year, over some disagreement between the union and the Federal Government.
Ngige who has been at the centre of the minimum wage negotiations, also declared that Federal Government would pay a minimum wage, adding that things were being worked out by the Committee saddled with that responsibility.
He noted that the problems of ASUU were not caused by President Muhammadu Buhari, but were inherited by the present administration from the previous governments based on agreements reached in 2009.
Ngige spoke yesterday in Awka, Anambra State capital, in a chat with reporters at the premises of a local radio station, belonging to the state.
Naija News reports the Federal Government and Labour representatives adjourned their meeting till today (Monday) after a five-hour deliberation last Friday.
At the end of the meeting, the minister said substantial progress was made and that all that is left is a final resolution.
His words, “FG will comfortably pay minimum wage, we want to pay it, but there must be balancing because figures were bandied and we are asking Labour to exercise patience.
“I appeal to ASUU and Labour to have mercy on students and be patient. As far as I’m concerned, we have treated Labour well. And they should also know I’m a comrade and that is why I always intervened on matters that concern them.”
The former Anambra governor said that he faced similar situations during his tenure in 2003 yet, he paid salaries and piled pensions without borrowing.
The minister said he was made governor under compulsion, and such made him to stand his ground when the hurricane invaded Anambra State then, adding that the rest was now history.
“What Buhari is doing now is what I did in office as governor in Anambra, which was mainly my offence that brought the problems. So Buhari is not the architect of salary issue in Nigeria.” He said.