To fizzle the influence of ASUU, the Federal Government, through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, on Tuesday, said that two new Unions had been registered. He added that some lecturers had complained of ASUU’s maltreatment, and declared their interest to break away from the union in Letters. The two unions formed are: Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA) and Nigerian Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA). The senator said that they were registered after due consideration that included so many letters written by the Lecturers in the parent union to the Ministry of Labour and Employment. The Lecturers that wrote these letters, now make up the members of the new unions.
The unions had initially applied for registration in 2017 and 2018 respectively. The Senator pointed out that the new development does not mean that ASUU ceases to exist or would be restricted from exercising its rights. The associations will function alongside ASUU. He added that the Federal Government, would still proceed with negotiations to resolve the seven-month-old strike. All these were stated on Tuesday in an interview with the Nigerian Tribune by ASUU President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, in reaction to the presentation of registration certificates to CONUA and NAMDA, by Senator Chris Ngige.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), launched a warning strike on the 14th of February as a result of Federal Government’s failure to pay lecturers salaries. Since then, nothing has changed and there have been series of meetings, but none have resulted into a positive outcome, or any agreement reached. It is very understandable that ASUU would prolong the strike until their demands are met, which in the first place, should not tarry till now if the government is concerned about the educational sector. Lots of money are pumped into politics daily but no one seems to be concerned or rather, care about the “Supposed Leaders of Tomorrow”. The truth is that no one would enjoy working without payment, and this is why those in authority enjoy their tenure in the first place. A labourer is worthy of wages.
The newly registered unions are to resume academic activities immediately in the universities, but they were warned by the Senator, not to interfere in government business, in the running of the universities.