President Muhammadu Buhari has directed his Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, as well as the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, and other relevant stakeholders to address the problem with the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).
He explained that this became necessary to ensure the issues raised by the judiciary workers, who have been on a nationwide strike since early April, were resolved to resume activities in various courts across the country.
Senator Ngige briefed reporters on Friday after a meeting with the President at the State House in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He noted that the meeting was to intimate President Buhari on the industrial actions by various unions in the country.
The minister said he also briefed the President about ongoing efforts by his ministry and resolutions reached, including a review of hazard allowance.
President Buhari gave the directive following a failed negotiation meeting between the Federal Government and the striking workers.
On Tuesday, leaders of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) staged a walkout from the venue of a meeting scheduled with the minister.
Chanting solidarity songs as they left the venue, the striking workers refused to listen to pleas from the permanent secretary who informed them that Ngige was holding a meeting with the government team in his office.
It was the second failed meeting scheduled with the minister in the series of discussions aimed at resolving the impasse between the government and the judiciary workers whose strike has paralysed activities across the courts in the country.
However, Ngige said the meeting was postponed to enable the government’s negotiating team harmonise all issues from the Memorandum of Understanding reached at separate meetings with tiers and arms of government.
“There is no point rushing to do a meeting that will be fruitless. The judiciary, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, and even the Presidency are involved in this negotiation because the meeting held yesterday (Monday) was at the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President.
“The arising documents are not yet properly harmonised; it will, therefore, not be fruitful to hold a negotiation where people speak from irreconcilable positions,” the minister told reporters on Tuesday.