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The Federal Government and the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will resume talks next week with a view to ending the prolonged closure of Nigerian public universities.
The hint was dropped yesterday by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, while making the opening remarks at a meeting between the government side and the striking National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) in his office.
Ngige noted that multiple industrial disputes in the education sector could have been averted if the unions in the sector took advantage of his open door policy like those in the health sector, which he said culminated in the peace currently enjoyed in that sector.
In a statement issued by the Acting Head Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Patience Onuobia, the minister who also decried the rivalry between the education unions, noted that everybody is important in the university system.
He assured that the government was tackling all the disputes in the education sector holistically, knowing full well that none of the unions could function effectively without the others.
He said: “If you are 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.