Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige has said that the splinter group of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is not yet registered by the federal government.
Speaking to THISDAY in a telephone interview at the weekend, Ngige said: “They have not been registered; their application is in the ministry and we are looking at it.”
“They have not been registered yet. Their application is in the ministry. They submitted it even before I left. They submitted the application in April. It has not been treated.
“We are still looking at their application. I asked a committee to look at it. When we look at the committee report we will know,” the minister said.
Speaking on government’s position, Ngige said that the ministry would wait until it gets a formal report on the group’s activities.
The splinter group known as Congress of University Academics (CONUA) emerged recently saying they left ASSU in order to redefine unionism and to restore peace and stability in the universities in Nigeria.
The group, which addressed journalists after their first national stakeholder forum at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), said they are putting necessary documentation in place for official recognition by the university and the government.
The national coordinator of the Union, Niyi Ismaheel, said it was formed in order to articulate a new approach of engagement in addressing the welfare of its members and to put an end to what it described as the unnecessary wasting of students’ academic time as a result of frequent strike actions.
The group, which started in OAU now has branches in Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State; Federal University, Oye Ekiti; Federal University, Lokoja and Kwara State University, Molete.
“The union is putting necessary documentation in place for official recognition by the university management and the government,” he added.