Against the backdrop of unreconciled differences with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Federal Government will today present a certificate of registration to the Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA), a breakaway faction of the lecturers’ union.
With the presentation of certificate of registration to CONUA, the Federal Government has strategically broken the ranks of the unrelenting ASUU.
Minister of Labour and Employment Dr Chris Ngige was expected to do the presentation, according to an invitation made available to newsmen by the Deputy Director of Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Oshundun Olajide.
The invitation reads, “The Honorable Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige cordially invites you to the recognition and presentation of Certificate of Registration to the Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA).
“The Programme is scheduled to hold as follows:
“Date: Tuesday, 4th October 2022
“Venue: Hon. Minister Conference Room, Federal Secretariat, Phase 1, Abuja.
“Your media organisation is invited to cover the event and strictly by invitation.”
CONUA, a breakaway faction of ASUU, is led by its National Coordinator, ‘Niyi Sunmonu, a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife.
Recall that ASUU has been on strike since February 14 to press home its demands. The strike is due to the inability of the Federal Government to renegotiate the agreement it signed with ASUU in 2009 including adequate funding of the system, replacement of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), with the UTAS, as the payment platform in the university sector, among others.
The union also raised concern that IPPIS has never worked in any university system anywhere, adding that the system shuts the doors against foreign scholars, contract officers and researchers needing to be poached from existing universities to stabilize new ones.
But the Federal Government insisted that the payment model is for transparency and neither intended to trample upon university autonomy.
Despite a ruling by the National Industrial Court on Sept 21, 2022 ordering the university to return to work, the University lecturers have remained adamant.
Earlier, ASUU, through its lawyers, had filed an appeal against the court ruling.