Femi Falana, a human rights campaigner, has said that the government isn’t prepared to put an end to the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ protracted strike.
During an interview on Friday’s episode of Sunrise daily on Channels Television, Falana made this statement.
The industrial court ordered the instructors to return to the classrooms after the federal government and the striking university body could not come to an agreement.
ASUU President Professor Victor Osodeke was adamant that the professors won’t back down and will appeal the injunction notwithstanding Justice Polycarp Hamman’s decision on Wednesday.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria commented on the court’s decision by saying, “If the government listens to ASUU, all strikes are avoidable.”
“It concerns funding… ASUU persuaded the government in 1992 that employers of labor should pay education tax because those who receive government training work for employers.
Despite being willing to boost the fuel subsidy, the 64-year-old was irritated by the government’s failure to uphold the terms of the deal accord it made in 2009 to revitalize the public tertiary institution.
All the government says is we have no money, but the same administration, this year alone, increased fuel subsidy from 443 billion Naira to 4 trillion Naira and we are now being told that before the end of the year may metamorphose into 6.3 trillion.”
“So where are you getting such money to fund waste and fraud but when it comes to education you say you have no money, I think these are some of the issues,” he said.
Wrong To Approach Industrial Court
Falana was of the opinion that the federal government were wrong to have filed the case before the industrial court.
“[It was wrong to approach the court] we tried to explain to the court, and the court said they would look at that later.”
He continued, “We made it obvious to the court and cited more than six cases where the same court continually cautioned the minister that you cannot come here without beginning your action in the IAP if it relates to trade issues.
For the first time in the court’s history, we were informed that a matter might be referred directly to the national industrial court by the minister, bypassing the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP).
because the NIC is an appellate chamber of the AIP under Nigeria’s present labor law system. It is therefore an appellate court. You can only go to the national industrial court if someone has been fired from their job or if there are issues inside or between unions.
The law mandates mediation, conciliation, and arbitration.
The court stated, “The only way you can express your disagreement is to approach the appellate court, which ASUU has opted to do, because the court concluded that this is a trade dispute and that there was no reference to the IAP.”