ASUU: FG Begs NLC To Allow Registration Of CONUA, NAMDA.
In a desperate bid to whittle the influence of the Academic Staff Union Of Universities, ASUU, the Federal Government has pleaded with the Nigerian Labour Congress to allow the registration of two new associations in the university system.
Recall that ASUU embarked on industrial action on February 14 which lasted for eight months, leaving public universities closed.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige made the call on Tuesday in a statement through the Head of Public Relations in the ministry, Olajide Oshundun.
The two new unions – Congress for Nigerian University Academics (CONUA) and Nigeria Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA) earlier received letters of recognition from the government.
Responding, NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba demanded the withdrawal of the letters issued on the grounds that their registration contravened the laws guiding trade unionism.
But Ngige, in his reply, appealed to the NLC to allow the new bodies to exist in the spirit of Freedom of Association.
The minister said the Trade Dispute Act 2004 gives him the sole power to register new trade unions, either by registering a new union or regrouping existing ones.
Read also: ASUU Seeks Bill To Regulate Foreign Education For Public Officers’ Children
Ngige explained that the new unions were by-products of regrouping and their applications were considered by two committees in the Ministry Of Labour, citing the need for efficiency and effectiveness in the university system.
“Comrade President, do not unnecessarily oppose the registration of these new academic unions. As an uncle of the unions, oppose none in the spirit of Freedom of Association”, he noted.
Pointing out his power to register unions under Section 3 (2) of the Trade Dispute Act, CAP T14, Ngige cited litigation in the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN).
The case involved the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) and the Federal Parastatals and Private Sector Pensioners Association of Nigeria (FEPPAN) regrouped from the NUP.
Ngige recalled that the NICN, in suit NICN/ABJ/219/2019, affirmed its initial ruling that the power to register trade unions resides with the Minister of Labour and Employment.
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