The Federal Government yesterday registered two new trade unions for university and teaching hospital employees in an effort to forcefully reopen tertiary institutions, lessen the influence of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and split the ranks of lecturers after 8 months of university closure due to strike action.

What’s happening
The organizations are the Congress of Nigerian University Academics and the National Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA) (CONUA). The Minister of Labor and Productivity stated that the two organizations would coexist alongside the similar pre-existing association.

Since February 14, 2022, ASUU has been on strike in protest over unpaid allowances and in demand of a better welfare package from the Federal Government from professors at public universities.

The minister claimed that CONUA’s registration was required because they disagree with the present ASUU strike. He suggested that since 2018, CONUA has been looking to register. He also claimed that he reserves the right to register another association even if there is another one doing the same function. This he said can be done when the former one is no longer functioning as required.

What else is going on
Members of NASU and SSANU received paychecks in September, but the FG remained mute on unpaid payments. CONUA, the new association, has confirmed their dedication to improving varsity education in the country. ASUU hasn’t issued a statement yet.

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