The Federal Government has commenced the process of registering another union to rival the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) whose members have been on strike for over 10 months.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, dropped this on Thursday in Abuja when the leadership of the Congress of University Academics, led by its National Coordinator, Dr. Niyi Sunmonu, paid him a courtesy visit.
CONUA’s membership is drawn from university lecturers opposed to ASUU.
Ngige regretted the long strike by ASUU, saying it had negatively affected the educational development of the country.
He said: “We are receiving you in audience formally today in this ministry.
“We have the right to receive associations of persons that are workers, whether we have registered them or not, just as you have the right to apply for registration, which is the lawful thing to do.
“We have the right to receive and hold meetings with you.
“The journey to have you registered has just started.
“You have done the right thing by applying and this Ministry has also done the right thing by processing your registration.
“The review of your application for registration is ongoing.
“I have put up a committee to look into that review.
“I will ask the committee to wind up its work.
“We are giving them four weeks from today to turn in their report to the ministry.
“Part of our job here is to register unions.
“It is also part of our job to make sure that unions that are not functional are helped.”
Ngige commended the university lecturers for initiating the process to register the union.