FG Registers Two Unions Within University System

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) was split in two on Tuesday when the federal government registered two unions within the university system.

The National Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA) and the Congress of Nigerian Universities Academics are the unions in question (CONUA).

The Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife lecturer Niyi Sunmonu is the president of CONUA, a union for lecturers at all of the country’s universities. At OAU, the group was founded in 2018.

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, explained that the two bodies would exist alongside ASUU.

The two groups will have access to the same rights and benefits offered to other academic unions in the tertiary education system, he added.

It is unclear what effect the bodies being recognised will have on the seven-month-long strike that ASUU has started.

ASUU has been on strike since February 14.

Because the government had not properly complied with its demands, the union said in August that it would extend its industrial action “completely and indefinitely.”

Among other requests, the academics want better welfare, the revitalisation of public universities, and academic autonomy.

The non-payment of university revitalisation funds, which total roughly N1.1 trillion, is one point of discontent among academics.

However, the Federal Government has asserted that it lacks the resources to make such a payment, citing the low oil prices experienced during President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch.

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