FG begs striking judicial/parliamentary workers to call off strike

By Appolos Christian 

The Federal Government has directed members of the striking Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria(JUSUN) and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria(PASAN) to urgently re-open all the courts and the State Houses of Assembly so that the May 20, 2021 Memorandum of Action, signed by all  parties and further reinforced by another meeting  on implementation of timelines  on June 4,  can take effect .

In a statement in Abuja  today, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige decried the situation where the courts and the State Houses of Assembly are still shut down across the federation for no cogent reasons of non-adherence to the provisions of  the May 20 Memorandum of Action which has 45 days implementation window.  

 “ The Federal Government has sadly noted that   the MOA  between all the stakeholders involved in the JUSUN/ PASAN strike,  mainly JUSUN/PASAN, Governors’ Forum and the Presidential  Implementation Committee is yet to take effect because of non-compliance by parties.

“We note that the strike has not been called off as of noon, today, June 8, 2021,  leading to  courts and various State Houses of Assembly still remaining under lock and key contrary to the promise made by the two unions at  a further dialogue  which was attended by the President of the Nigerian Labour Congress. 

“Unfortunately, all federal courts have  remained closed notwithstanding the fact that the Federal level of Government  operates a financial autonomy of the judiciary through the National Judicial Council (NJC) and the National Assembly through the statutory  transfer lines.”

The statement noted that  many Governors are desirous that the State  Assemblies be opened so that they can enact  the  laws meant to give  effect to the autonomy as enshrined  in the MOA “ but we have advised all state governors that have consulted  with their heads of judiciary and legislature  to go ahead and credit the accounts of judiciary and legislature before finetuning the laws.” 

“ We are worried  and therefore wish to appeal for the last time to all parties involved in the  signed agreement to abide by its spirit and letters, by  firstly re-opening all the courts and the State Houses of Assembly so that all other ingredients in the MOA can be given full compliance by all parties concerned.

“This much was agreed to between JUSUN/ PASSAN and the Governors Forum at the last meeting  on Friday, June 4, 2021.”

The Minister noted that  with the courts closed , the police and other security agencies cannot  prosecute criminals, hoodlums and bandits  even  as the nation is faced with heightened insecurity. 

The Statement added that the Ministry  will not be happy to be pushed into invoking sections of the Trade Disputes Acts capable of eroding all the gains made so far in the negotiations since May 6, 2021. 

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