In order to take down the effects of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and ensure that it no longer holds the power to prevent academic activities in the varsities, the Minister of Labour and Employment representing the Federal Government, Senator Chris Ngige, on Tuesday, said it had founded two new unions of lecturers.
The two newly founded unions which are congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA) and Nigerian Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA), he said are registered after various letters received which brought about consideration and final approval of the unions.
He stated that the lecturers expressed their interest to be removed from the parent union.
He explained that similar actions took place when other groups of pensioners were created outside the Nigerian union of pensioners (NUP) into three unions for the purpose of the harmony of the industries.
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He noted that the approval of the new unions is geared towards restricting any union that tends to cripple education in Nigeria.
He reiterated that ASUU’s actions are not in favour to the continuous development of education in the country.
“Trade unions Act CAP.T14, law of the Federation of Nigeria 2014 gives the Minister of Labour and Employment permissions to regroup any previously existing Trade unions of workers or employees.
“In view of the above, I senator Chris Ngige, in the exercise of the powers conferred on me as the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, do hereby approve the registration of CONUA and NAMDA” the Minister noted.
The Minister further realized that the unions now have same rights with ASUU, and will be able to participate in all events and negotiations that has to do with university lecturers.
He added that there are now officially three voices regarding tertiary institutions.
Informations gathered by Okay.ng reports that the unions applied for registration since 2017 and 2018 accordingly and explained that their presence doesn’t mean the former union ASUU no longer exists.
He stated that the union will work hand in hand with ASUU in the Nigerian varsity system under the tenets of international labour Organization (ILO) convention including receiving check-off dues of their members, Ngige said.
He further explained that the Federal Government is working tirelessly to resolve the seven months-old-strike. To the newly approved unions, Ngige asked them to commence academic activities without any further delay.
He continued by giving the unions strict warning not to interfere with the government business.
In his response the president of NAMDA, Dr Nosa Lance Orhue said the registration have given the medical and Dental union a legal voice in the management of the welfare of it’s members.
He called on the federal Government and ASUU to provide means towards ending the current strike in Universities
Meanwhile ASUU said the registration of those unions is not as a result to the ongoing industrial action by the union, this was said in an interview with newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja by the ASUU president.
He described the Minister as a failure and desperate person who has tried many means to forcefully call off the strike including suing them to court and has failed.
“Now it is registration of unions; they should register hundreds. Our members know what the union is fighting for, not for saboteurs, people who just want to work with government.
It’s so sad, there is nothing to respond to, they should go and raise membership; government wants to use them to fight the university system.
“Even a child will see through what Ngige is doing. These people have been there. When people have problems with universities, corruption and all these things, they quickly raise those groups.
That is what they have been doing all along, this has no consequence on our strike.”
The ASUU branch in Lagos said it is not disturbed by the registration of CONUA as part of the tertiary education union, as it is completely irrelevant and describes the federal Government action as void.
In line with that, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) blamed the Federal Government for approving CONUA, saying the action could lead to more confusion in the Nigerian Education System, says it’s a display of failure of present administration.