President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime on Tuesday presented certificates of registration to the newly registered Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA) and the National Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA).
Labour minister Chris Ngige presented the certificates to the unions at a ceremony in Abuja.
“In doing this, both unions are officially recognised and have been registered to unbundle the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) as well as the National Association of Resident Doctors(NARD),” Mr Ngige said.
He said both unions had been officially gazetted and entitled to all labour rights enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution and International Labour Organisation (ILO) convention.
The minister said the regime was working out modalities for payment of withheld salaries of CONUA and NAMDA members for the duration of the ASUU strike, claiming it would amount to injustice if they were victimised because they never partook in the strike in the first instance.
Mr Ngige claimed that the alleged lack of democracy, transparency and failure to render a proper account of check-off dues by ASUU, both to its members and the government culminated in the emergence of the new unions.
CONUA president Niyi Sunmonu commended Mr Ngige and alleged that the high-handedness of ASUU’s leadership gave birth to the association.
“Now that CONUA has been given official backing through the presentation of certificate, the era of incessant strikes in the university system was over,” Mr Sunmonu said.
He, however, alleged that ASUU, through subterfuge, had caused the check-off dues of CONUA members to be paid to its account for some months through the IPPIS office.
He said the inappropriate remittance to ASUU was reflected on the payslips of CONUA members for the affected months.