The federal government’s latest move on Tuesday, October 4 has been making rounds on social media, after the Ministry of Labour through its minister, Chris Ngige issued a certificate of registration to two new unions in the academic sector in FCT, Abuja.
CONUA and NAMDA are two separate bodies of academic unions different from the Academic Staff Union of Universities -ASUU.
Reacting to this development, Nigeria Labour Congress Senior Assistant General Secretary, Eustace Imoyera James said: “They are trying their hardest to break the ranks of ASUU by approving these two breakaway factions. This is a clear sign of the government trying to play to the gallery, and do things they think that people want, instead of addressing the main issue on ground.” Ms. James had also tagged the move as comical.
Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, via its National President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, remarked in an interview, that the registration of two new academic unions by the government for academic staff in the university system was ‘inconsequential’ and not a threat to its existence.
“We know our members; we know our strength and we also know what our vision and mission are. Our members are not saboteurs or bootlickers. Our struggle is for a better educational system in the country. If the system is good, all of us will benefit and it is not only ASUU members’ children and wards that are going to benefit from improved funding and the provision of better facilities in our institutions,” he had said.
Regardless, the National Coordinator of CONUA, Dr. Niyi Sunmonu, in a statement described the registration as ‘monumental and historic’.