Dr. Chris Ngige, Nigeria’s Minister of Labour and Employment has found himself at crossroads and will now have to make a decision on whether he will remain Minister to ensure the several strike actions embattling the country are resolved or resign from his position.
The order for him to resign comes directly from a letter signed by the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, directing all Ministers interested in contesting the 2023 elections to resign on or before Monday 16th of May 2022.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has expressed interest in becoming Nigeria’s President in 2023. He is one of the leading aspirants of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and is banking on his repuation as Minister to clinch the party’s ticket.
The statement of the SGF signed on Wednesday May 11, 2022 titled; “MINISTERS, HEADS OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, AMBASSADORS AND OTHER APPOINTEES WITH POLITICAL AMBITIONS TO RESIGN” reads;
Mr. President has observed and noted the expression of interest and intention by some members of the Federal Executive Council, Heads of Extra-Ministerial Departments, Agencies, Parastatals of Government, Ambassadors and other Political Office holders to contest the upcoming Presidential, Gubernatorial, National and State Assemblies’ elections.
Consequently, Mr. President has directed that the affected office holders aspiring to run for various offices in the 2023 General Elections, should tender their resignation on or before Monday, the 16th of May, 2022.
“For the avoidance of doubt, this directive affects all Ministers, Heads and Members of Extra-Ministerial Departments, Agencies and Parastatals of Government, Ambassadors as well as other political appointees who desire to contest for elective offices.
“For smooth running of the machinery of government and our foreign Missions, affected Ministers are to hand over to Ministers of State where they exist or to the Permanent Secretary, where there is no Minister of State. Ambassadors shall hand over to their Deputy Heads of Mission or the most Senior Foreign Service Officer in line with established practices.
“Similarly, Heads of Extra-Ministerial Departments, Agencies and Parastatals are to hand over to the most senior Director/Officer as may be peculiar to the organisation, in line with the service wide Circular No. SGF 50/S. II/C.2/268 of 4th December, 2017,” the statement explained.
The negotiations between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) headed by the Minister of Labour and Employment has been one of the major challenges faced in the Ministry.
In the most recent development, ASUU declared an additional three months strike, extending their ongoing strike to seven straight months expected to end by August 2022.
After several forths and back in the negotiations and incessant strikes, Nigeria’s Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige have called for a meeting between the government, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as well as all other registered Trade Unions in Nigerian universities on Thursday (today).
The meeting is expected to be held today with Prof. Ibrahim Gambari as Chairman and not Dr. Chris Ngige.
With the present order from the Presidency asking Ministers interested in contesting 2023 elections to resign, it is unclear if Dr. Chris Ngige will be the Minister of Labour and Employment by next week Monday.