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Dr Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, has blamed lack of transparency by the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, for the decision of the Federal Government to register rival trade unions in the university system.
Ngige disclosed this while speaking in his office in Abuja during the presentation of certificates of registration to the Congress of University Academics, CONUA, and the National Association of Medical and Dental Academics, NAMDA.
The Minister stated that the unions have been officially gazette and are therefore entitled to all labour rights as contained in the International Trade Unions’ constitution.
He said, “Before 2020, CONUA had approached the ministry complaining of a lack of democracy and transparency in the leadership of ASUU, especially in rendering a proper account of their check-up dues remitted from the government.
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“Based on these grievances, the ministry decided to register the members of CONUA to operate as a full-fledged union, for which we have issued a certificate of registration and gazetting, which is part of Section 3:2 of the ITU.
“Unbundling is not new; the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, NEPA, and NNPC have been unbundled.”
In his speech, Dr Niyi Sunmonu, the CONUA President, alleged that the highhandedness of ASUU leadership prompted the formation of the association, noting that the era of ceaseless strikes in the university system has come to an end.
Sunmonu however, contested the continued remittance of the association members’ check-up dues to ASUU, asking Ngige to intervene and reverse the abnormally.
Meanwhile, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, the National President of ASUU, could not be reached at the point of filing this report to respond to inquiries.