The Federal Government has expressed hope that courts and state assemblies will reopen next week, following the resolution of the nationwide industrial actions of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria and Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria over the non-implementation of autonomy for state judiciary and legislature by the governors.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, stated this in his office after a short meeting between the government and unions to smoothen the grey areas in the memorandum of action reached on May 20, 2021.
A statement by the ministry’s Head, Press and Public Relations, Charles Akpan, said Ngige expressed his optimism in an interview with journalists on the outcome of the meeting.
According to him, the 36 governors, led by the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State; and his Deputy, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, “have put pen to paper on behalf of their colleagues on the historic agreement, which they reached on May 20.”
Ngige explained that with what had been achieved at the meeting, it was expected that the courts and state assemblies would reopen next week, since all the grey areas have been smoothened.
He said, “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 May 20. Right now, we expect the unions to go back to their members and give them a 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.”
The minister added that they were not oblivious that the situation had posed serious challenges to the nation, especially since the courts remained closed and the law enforcement agencies had no place to take arrested criminals for prosecution.
The Deputy President of JUSUN, Emmanuel Abisoye, also thanked Ngige for his efforts in resolving the dispute, saying he expected all parties to fulfil their parts of the agreement.
The President of PASAN, Mohammed Usman, expressed hope that all stakeholders would do everything necessary within the shortest possible period to see that the workers in the state legislatures return to work.
The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, thanked all the parties for reaching the milestone, saying, “It is necessary to ensure that industrial harmony strives in this sector of our economy. It is important that this issue is put behind us.”