Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige has given reasons for his failure to attend a scheduled meeting on Tuesday with the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN).
Naija News previously reported that leaders of the union had arrived at the conference hall of the federal ministry of labour and employment for the meeting slated for 3pm.
However, as of 4:35pm, Ngige was yet to arrive for the meeting.
The development infuriated the union representatives who eventually stormed out of the meeting.
The minister had initially rescheduled a meeting fixed for April 15 to Tuesday in order to discuss the ongoing strike embarked upon and the nationwide protest against the non-implementation of financial autonomy of the judiciary.
However after the Minister failed to show up at the negotiation, he has now advanced reasons for his behaviour.
According to Nigige, the union representatives were impatient. He also added that the government’s negotiating team was still working to harmonize all issues from the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) reached at separate meetings with stakeholders, hence no need to have a ‘fruitless’ meeting with the union representatives.
“There is no point rushing to have a meeting that will be fruitless,” Ngige told journalists.
“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 would not help us and it would not help the unions either. The reason is to ensure that the agreement reached at the end of our meeting here is put into action, with timeline for implementation.
“So if we do not have a paper that is ready to go, then there will be no point for the talk shop.”
The Minister noted that a new date to continue deliberations and negotiations with the unions would be announced.
“It is better done properly so that the governors can implement whatever agreement we enter into,” he said.
“The governors hold the ace because they are sovereign in their respective states. Though they are sub-nationals, they run the government of those states.
“Today, fund management committees have been proposed and there is also executive Order 10. This means there is a problem and we must be very careful not to create more problems instead of solving them,” he declared.
Meanwhile, the new acting inspector-general of police (IGP), Alkali Usman Baba, has ordered the withdrawal of senior police officers from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Naija News reports that this directive was contained in a letter dated April 15, 2021 and addresses to the EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, chairman of the EFCC.
In the letter signed by the principal staff officer to the IGP, Idowu Owohunwa, senior officers from the rank of chief superintendent of police (CSP) are to be released from the EFCC and report to the force headquarters on Wednesday by 10am.
The decision is said to be informed by the current operational requirements of the police force.