The Federal Government, on Friday, said it would resume its negotiations with the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) next week, with a view to stopping the prolonged closure of Nigerian public universities.
Senator Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, stated this during a meeting between the striking National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and the government.
Ngige said that the several industrial disputes in the education sector could have been prevented if the unions in the sector took advantage of his open-door policy like the health unions, insisting that they don’t have to cry over spilt milk.
According to him, the open door culminated in the peace currently enjoyed in the health sector.
He, however, decried the rivalry between the two education unions, adding that everybody was important in the university system as he gave assurance that the government was tackling all the disputes in the education sector holistically.
The minister said, “If you’re from any union, you don’t need to book an appointment to see me. The doctors started using that advantage, and JOHESU also did the same.
“That is why the Health Sector is quiet. But the education unions don’t take advantage of my open-door policy.
“We don’t have to cry over spilt milk. Let us look at your issues to see the ones we can handle immediately, the ones we can do in the medium term and the ones we can do in the long term.”
He added, “That is why I want to take all of you holistically and I ask for your cooperation. When I finish with you today, I will continue with ASUU next week.
“I met NASU and SSANU yesterday [Thursday] and they were happy. I want you people to be happy as we leave here.”