The Federal Government negotiating team on Monday announced its official withdrawal from the re-negotiation with the Academic Staff Union of Univerisities (ASUU).
Disclosing the resolve of the team to withdraw from further talks with ASUU, Deacon Gamaliel Onosode said until the union suspends its current strike, it would not continue because of lack of enabling environment for governing councils to continue the negotiation with their employees.
Onosode said ASUU as well as other inions have written officially to reject the 40 per cent offer from government.
However, Daily Champion gathered that the July salary of the striking university lecturers was withheld in line with the ‘No Work, No Pay’ by government and that the same fate will befall the August salary unless they call off the strike.
While ASUU confirmed that government had wielded the big slick, a government source said it was legal and part of the labour-law, adding that ASUU cannot eat its cake and have it.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, chairman of the government re-negotiating team, Deacon Onosode said “based on the authoritive information, my principal, the Federal Government, had taken a final position on the salaries of staff of Federal Universities.
“You will also recall that an invitation was extended to the unions to enable the committee to convey the Federal Government position to them on July 10, 2009. the unions, including ASUU, have officially reacted in writing, rejecting the offer.
“In the desire of Government to resolve outstanding issues with particular reference to the grey areas in the proposed Draft Agreement, Government held a meeting with ASUU. At that meeting of July 29, 2009, the Re-Negotiation committee was advised to reconvene and resolve all such issues. In line with this position, the FGN/ASUU at the meeting of August 3, 2009 constituted a sub-committee to review and resolve all such grey areas.
“At the point of presentation of the Sub-committee Report on August 10, 2009, ASUU detoured and refused the presentation, insisting on my mandate to sign an agreement after the proposed draft document will have been vetted and not at the level of individual Federal University Councils, the true employers of federal university staff.
“The Government Team endeavoured to facilitate the conclusion of these negotiations at the strictly employer-employee level. Unfortunately, that effort has been stalled by the current strike. We, therefore, cannot get to the point where the councils can receive the documents and speedily conclude the negotiations for implementation. Consequently, the Government Team is not in a position to continue further negotiations with the unions until it suspends its strike to provide an enabling environment for them.
“Finally, I join all well-meaning Nigerians in appealing to the Unions to, at least, suspend the on going strike in order to create an enabling environment for the facilitation of the conclusion of the Re-negoliations.
“”However, the Governing Councils of Federal Universities have been advised to recall their staff who are on strike and provide an enabling environment for teaching, research and community services for those who are willing to work,” Onosode said.
It would be recalled that ASUU had on Sunday, after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Makurdi, Benue State, decided to continue the strike until government signs the agreement to its satisfaction.
ASUU had in its statement read in Makurdi accused government team of playing politics with the future of Nigerian youths by flouting the directives given by the Vice President Goodluck Jonathan for both team to resolve the contentious issues within two weeks,.
Lagos Orders Closure Of Ladipo Spareparts Market
The Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, has ordered immediate closure of Ladipo Market, Mushin, for several environmental offences ranging from reckless waste disposal, unhygienic premises, and non-payment of waste bills, among others.
Wahab said that the market would remain closed until the mandatory conditions of redress were met by traders and market stakeholders, adding that it was part of ongoing efforts at instilling compliance in markets around the state.
Wahab, while speaking on the development, underscored the critical importance of environmental hygiene in markets.
He said: “It is imperative that markets in the state adhere strictly to environmental laws and regulations put in place for the well-being of residents.
“The closure of Ladipo Market serves as a stern reminder that no entity, regardless of its size or influence, is above the law.”
He stated that the state government was fully committed to collaborating with market stakeholders, to facilitate necessary adjustments and improvements, to enable them meet required environmental standards, adding that the market would not be reopened for business until set standards were met.
The commissioner said, “Ladipo Market, a prominent hub for automotive spare parts and related services, has been a focal point for environmental concerns due to various activities that contravene established regulations. LAWMA’s intervention is a significant step towards rectifying these issues and bringing the market to compliance.”
In his reaction, the Managing Director/CEO of LAWMA, Dr. MuyiwaGbadegesin, said that the closure was expected to allow for a thorough assessment of the environmental impact of the market’s activities and the implementation of necessary remedial measures, serving as a clear signal that LAWMA would not hesitate to take decisive actions, where and when environmental laws were flouted.
“As Lagos State continues to grow and develop, it is imperative that economic activities are conducted in a manner that is sustainable and environmentally responsible.”
“LAWMA’s recent actions demonstrate the authority’s commitment to this cause. The offensive against environmental infractions will continue till sanity is restored in our markets, while the next stop will be illegal markets,” he stressed.
The closure of Ladipo Market follows a similar action taken against Oyingbo, Alayabiagba, Oke-odo markets, and some sections of Tejuosho Market, for serial infractions.
The decision to shut down those markets underscored the state government’s unwavering commitment to the restoration of environmental sanity in the state.
Tinubu, Sultan Beg NLC, TUC To Shelve Strike
President Bola Tinubu and the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, have appealed to the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to shelve their planned strike over the removal of fuel subsidy.
The organised labour had fixed Tuesday, October 3, for the commencement of an indefinite strike over fuel subsidy removal.
However, speaking during the public lecture and special Juma’at prayer to mark the 63rd independence anniversary of the country at the National Mosque, Abuja, on Friday, Tinubu appealed to the workers not to embark on the strike.
Represented by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Jibrin Barau, the President reiterated the commitment of his administration to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal.
This was contained in a statement by the media aide to the Deputy Senate President, Ismail Mudashir.
The statement said, “The Sultan has talked about the issue of strike by the NLC. I also call, on behalf of His Excellency, the President, and the entire government, on the labour leaders to shelve the strike.
“Let’s dialogue, let’s sit together, let’s understand ourselves, and let’s look at the prevailing situation in the country. How do we meet this country, the challenges ahead and the current challenges? It is through dialogue that we can solve our problems collectively.”
While stating that the government was new and working hard to bring succour to Nigerians,” Tinubu added, “It (Federal Government) has set aside N500bn and other packages are being unveiled to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal. Therefore, we need to support and pray for the government.”
Earlier, the Sultan had appealed to organised labour to give the Federal Government another chance.
He said, “For God’s sake, for Allah’s sake, anybody planning to go on strike should please give the government another chance. Please, rethink and give the government another chance.”
The Sultan, who said he had been involved in the negotiation of the labour leaders and the government since 2007, said if the NLC and TUC embarked on the strike, it would do more harm than good.
Police Conniving With Land Grabbers, Ogun Assembly Alleges
The Ogun State House of Assembly has accused the police of alleged connivance with land grabbers in the state.
The assembly called on the Inspector General of Police, KayodeEgbetokun, to look into the alleged illegal arrest and detention of innocent Ogun residents on trumped-up charges by the police in connivance with some suspected land grabbers in the State.
The Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo, made the appeal at Tuesday’s plenary when other lawmakers took turns reporting rampant cases of land-grabbing in their constituencies.
The discussion took place when members were contributing to a debate on the second reading of the State Anti-land Grabbing (amendment) bill.
According to the Speaker, hundreds of innocent residents of Ogun are languishing in the various police cells, both at Alagbon in Lagos and the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
This, the Speaker said, was “due to the connivance of land grabbers with some security agents against innocent members of the public.”
Oluomo pleaded with IGP Egbetokun to wade into the matter so as to ensure that innocent Ogun residents are not made to suffer on account of trumped-up charges.
Oluomo advised that any land-related matters should be charged to court, while promising that the new amendment would ensure the constitution of a task force by the state government to handle land matters.
In their various submissions, the lawmakers stressed that the activities of the land grabbers had been affecting the peace, progress, and development of the state, hence the need to take a holistic approach towards addressing the menace.
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