There are strong indications that the workers of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), have finally reached an agreement with the Minister of Labour, Mr Chris Ngige following an industrial action it earlier embarked upon.
The staff of the agency had on Thursday, proceeded on a three-day warning strike to press home their demand for better welfare packing, with a directive issued in Abuja by the Trade Union Congress and the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria.
Following this development, Dr. Ngige convened a meeting with the grieving workers led by its by Director-General, Engr. Mustapha Maihaja and representatives of the TUC, ASCSN, FCT and the Nigeria Civil Service Union.
It was gathered that the meeting ended with a joint settlement agreement signed by both parties with the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour as a witness.
According to the NEMA’s Spokesperson, Mr Sani Datti, its offices are expected to re-open for normal operation nationwide today, as contained in a statement, made available to Channels Television on Friday.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has announced a conditional suspension of it nationwide industrial action.
ASUU’s decision followed a reconciliation meeting with a Federal Government team which held today (Monday) in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
President of the union, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, who made the announcement, explained that the suspension was conditional, as it depends on whether the Federal Government would fufil its parts of the agreements.
Today’s dialogue came after about two weeks following the union’s consultations with its various chapters on the terms of the agreement earlier reached by both parties.
ASUU had been on strike since August 14, over unpaid arrears and demands for improved infrastructure in the universities.
A reconciliation meeting with the Federal Government on August 17 had failed to resolve the dispute, but fresh undisclosed offers were made to the lecturers.
Another reconciliation meeting held on August 29 also ended in deadlock, as ASUU insisted on seeing the government act on their demands.
A third meeting, which held on September 7 and concluded the following day, however, ended with agreements reached on some of the demands of the union.
During the meeting, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, had offered assurances of government’s commitment to immediately commence the payment of salary shortfalls and funding for universities’ infrastructure.
Professor Ogunyemi had also said the striking lectures were willing to take the final decision on the industrial action once they resolve the “contentious issues”.
Some of the key outstanding issues raised by ASUU were the payment of fractions/ non-payment of salaries; non-payment of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA); non-release of operational license of NUPEMCO and the non-implementation of the provisions of the 2014 Pension Reform Act with respect to retired professors and their salaries.
Others include the removal of Universal Staff Schools from funding by government; funds for the revitalisation of Public Universities (Implementation of Needs Assessment Report), as well as the poor funding of existing State Universities and proliferation of universities by their visitors among other issues.
The Federal Government of Nigeria and government of Cote d’Ivoire have signed a bi-national commission framework agreement paving the way for both countries to clearly define priorities and goals towards achieving meaningful and sustainable economic, social and political relations.
According to the Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, who signed the joint commission agreement on behalf of the federal government, the establishment of the bi-national commission should be seen as partnership that will bring further benefits not only to the ECOWAS sub-region but to Africa as a whole.
It would be recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing the bi-national commission (BNC) during his state visit to Cote d’Ivoire in March, 2013, which he said is in recognition of close ties that the countries have enjoyed.
He noted that Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire share a long history of excellent relationship that predates ECOWAS as both countries are now important members of ECOWAS, African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) also playing significant roles at the sub-regional, regional and international platforms.
Still on the performance agreement contract which the President Goodluck Jonathan signed with the ministers, Elvis Agukwe a public affairs analyst. and a former commissioner in Imo state in reaction said the essence of the performance agreement contract by the President is to ensure that his ministers are actually working.