The National Industrial Court of Nigeria, NICN, has ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to end its over seven months strike immediately.
The order followed a suit filed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on behalf of the federal government on the strike.
University lecturers commenced a nationwide strike on February 14, 2022, to press home their demands for the federal government to improve the funding and equipment of the universities and increase in remunerations.
The federal government went to court for adjudication over the strike.
The government explained that the decision to go to court followed the failure of dialogue between the union and the Federal Ministry of Education.
The government asked the NICN to inquire into the legality or otherwise of the ongoing prolonged strike by ASUU leadership and members that had continued even after apprehension.
It asked the court to interpret in its entirety the provisions of Section 18 LFN 2004, especially as it applied to the cessation of strike once a trade dispute is apprehended by the Minister of Labour and Employment and conciliation is ongoing.The NICN was to interpret the provisions of Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act, Cap T8. LFN 2004, titled “Special Provision with Respect to payment of wages during strikes and lock-outs.”
Ngige said this “specifically dealing with the rights of employees/workers during the period of any strike or lock-out.
“Can ASUU or any other union that embarked on strike be asking to be paid salaries even with clear provisions of the law.
“Determine whether ASUU members are entitled to emoluments or ‘strike pay’ during their period of strike, which commenced on February 14.
“Moreso, in view of our national law as provided in Section 43 of the TDA and the International Labour Principles on the right to strike as well as the decisions of the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association on the subject,” he said.