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JUSUN, PASAN stage walk-out at parley with Ngige, others

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JUSUN, PASAN stage walk-out at parley with Ngige, others

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Dr. Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment

…Why we postponed meeting — Minister

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

THE striking members of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, and Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, PASAN, yesterday staged a walk-out at the meeting convened by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige over the ongoing industrial action by the unions.

The meeting was scheduled for 3pm at the Conference Hall of the Minister’s office, Abuja, but the two unions after waiting for about two hours without being attended to stormed out of the venue.

But the Minister has explained that the meeting with JUSUN and PASAN was postponed to enable the Federal Government negotiating team harmonize all issues from the Memorandum of Understanding reached at separate meetings with tiers and arms of government.

Ngige in a statement issued by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the ministry, Charles Akpan said the postponement was necessary to ensure that the meeting with the unions come with a Memorandum of Action which is implementable with time lines.

The statement said:  “There is no point rushing to do a meeting that will be fruitless. The Judiciary, the Governors Forum and even the Presidency are involved in this negotiation because the meeting held yesterday was at the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President .

“The arising documents are not yet properly harmonized. It will therefore not be fruitful to hold a negotiation where people speak from irreconcilable positions.   It won’t help us and it won’t help the unions   either.

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“The reason is to ensure that the agreement reached at the end of our meeting here is put into action , with timelines for implementation. So if we don’t have a paper that is ready to go,   then there will be no point for the talk shop.”

The Minister explained that the members of the unions were in a hurry even as they were properly informed of the little time needed for him to round off a meeting with the government team, comprising the Solicitor General of the Federation,  Mr. Dayo Apata, the Director General of the Governors Forum, Asishana Bayo Okauru  and the Senior Special Assistant  to the President, Senator Ita Enang.

He said the meeting will continue at a date to be  announced soon, adding, “It is better done properly so that the governors can implement whatever agreement we enter into.

However, speaking with newsmen, JUSUN national Public Relations Officer, Koin Selepreye said it was wrong for the minister to keep the workers for that long, when the invitation sent to them clearly started that the meeting was for 3:pm.

She said the union would always aveil herself for meetings, but won’t take it when the time for the meeting is not respected.

Also speaking, the National President of PASAN,  Mohammed Usman barrated the minister for what he described as unfair treatment meted out to the workers.

He said the workers respect time and won’t accept being kept for a meeting which should be taken seriously considering the important of the issues astake.

“The governors hold the ace because they hold the sovereign in their respective states, even though they are sub-nationals but they run the government of those states.”

He added that the Federal Government believed in autonomy but utmost patriotism and tact have to be exercised to sift the issues in contention.

“Today, fund management committees have been proposed and there is also executive Order 10. This means there is problem and we must be very careful not to create more problems than   what we are out to solve,” Ngige said.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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