Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, has presented registered certificates to two factions which were created out of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU– the National Association of Medical and Dental Academics, NAMDA, and the Congress of Nigerian University Academics, CONUA.
The minister presented the certificates at the ministry on Tuesday, 4th October 2022.
According to Ngige, the new unions will exist alongside the ASUU. “These associations will exist side by side with ASUU in Nigerian universities,” said Mr Ngige, citing the ILO convention”, he said.
This comes amidst the ongoing seven month ASUU strike, which began since February 14th 2022, to press home its demands. The strike was embarked due to the inability of the Federal Government to renegotiate the agreement it signed with ASUU in 2009, which includes adequate funding of the system, and replacement of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), with the UTAS, as the payment platform in the university sector amongst others.
The Federal Government and the striking ASUU have engaged in series of confrontational meetings which were held to resolve the issues, but non has yielded results that signifies the strike will end anytime soon.
However, the federal government had filed a case against ASUU before the national industrial court over the prolonged strike. Despite the ruling by the National Industrial Court on September 21, 2022, ordering the university lecturers to return to work, the University lecturers have remained adamant, and had filed for appeal against the court ruling through its lawyers, seeking a stay of execution of the judgment.
In a bid to resolve the crisis, President Muhammadu Buhari met with Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities, which he promised to “make further consultations” over the strike by the lecturers.
All consultations ad negotiations with the striking Union have, so far, proved abortive as the Union insists they will only suspend the strike if the federal government accepts its “minimum demands”.
The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige has advised the newly registered academic unions not to interfere with the activities of the university management and the governing council.
Story: Christy Dung