Judicial, Legislative Workers May End Strike Next Week


Judicial and Legislative workers are set to end their two months old industrial action that has led to the shutting down of courts and state legislative Houses nationwide.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was reached at the conciliatory meeting between governors and the leadership of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) but the governors only signed the document yesterday.

Following a meeting held at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment yesterday between federal government and the leadership of unions, it was agreed that they would go and meet with their organs with a view to formally calling off the strike.

The Union’s decision came just as federal government said that the state governors had finally signed the agreement reached with workers that would enable the implementation of full financial autonomy to take off.

Based on the latest engagement, federal government expressed hope that courts and state assemblies would re-open next week.

It said that its optimism was based on the resolution of the nationwide industrial dispute of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) over the non-implementation of autonomy for State judiciary and legislature by the governors.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, stated this in his office after a short meeting between the government side and unions to smoothen the grey areas in the Memorandum of Action (MOA) reached on May 20, 2021.

Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, Ngige, said the 36 governors led by the Chairman of the Governors Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State and his Deputy, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, had put their pen on paper on behalf of their colleagues on the historic agreement which they reached on May 20th. According to the minister, with what they achieved at the meeting, it was expected that the courts and state assemblies would re-open next week, since all the grey areas had been smoothened.

“So today we met with the unions in a small dialogue to dot the i’s and cross the t’s in the agreement which we agreed will take effect from 20th of May.

“Right now, we expect the unions to go back to their members and give them final briefing on what we have achieved today.

“And with this achievement of today, we are hopeful that by next week, the chambers of our courts and the doors of the state assemblies will be open for business activities to begin,” he said.

Ngige said they were not oblivious that this situation has posed serious challenges to the nation, especially as the courts were closed and the law enforcement agencies had no place to take arrested criminals

He said: “Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum and his deputy, Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal have put their pen on paper on behalf of the 36 state governors on the historic agreement which we reached on May 20. So today we are meeting with the unions in a small dialogue to dot the Is and cross the Ts in the agreement.

“Right now we expect the unions to go back to their members on a final briefing on what we have achieved today.

“From this achievement of today, we hope that next week the chambers of our state Assemblies and doors of our courts will be open,” he said.

However, Our correspondent gathered that two other signatories from the federal government side, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and Solicitor General of the Federation, were not available at the meeting to append their signatures.

Deputy President of JUSUN, Mr. Emmanuel Abisoye who spoke to newsmen said that Ngige had assured that the SGF and the Solicitor General would sign the document as soon they were back from an official trip.

As part of the Memoradum of Agreement (MoA), state governors are expected to commence the Implementation of full financial autonomy for the state legislatures and Judiciary not later than 45 days from the date of signing of the agreement.

The meeting which held at the office of Minister of Labour and Employment, had in attendance the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Secretary of the Committee on the full implementation of financial autonomy for Judiciary and state legislatures, Senator Ita Enang and President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba.

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