The Nigerian government has granted registration certificates to two more university academic unions.
The Nigerian Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA) and the Congress of Nigerian University Academics are the two organisations (CONUA).
On Tuesday, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, presented certificates of registration to both unions at the ministry.
The move is the government’s latest attempt to bring the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to its knees over the nearly eight-month-long strike.
“These associations will coexist with ASUU in Nigerian universities,” Mr Ngige said, citing an ILO convention.
He cautioned newly registered academic unions against interfering with the activities of the university administration and governing council.
According to him, ASUU is interfering with employers’ rights by insisting on the use of the University Transparency and Accountability Solutions (UTAS) as a payment platform for its members.
The minister’s latest move could be related to the recent spat between him and ASUU President Emmanuel Osodeke.
The two had heated arguments during a meeting on Thursday, which was convened by House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila.
The minister accused Mr Osodeke of purposefully impeding the government’s efforts to resolve the crisis and mobilising Nigerians against the government, but the union leader accused Mr Ngige of spreading lies about the union.
Mr Ngige and the ASUU leadership have been constantly at odds, which may have influenced President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, take over the negotiations.
The registration process for CONUA, a rival academic union to the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), began in 2018.
The union, led by ‘Niyi Sunmonu, an Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) lecturer, has consistently distanced itself from any strike declared by ASUU.
More details later …
TAGGED: ASUU Strike Update