THE Ministry of Labour and Employment, has confirmed receipt of application for the registration of a new university union, Congress of University Academics (CONUA), to be formed out of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The Minister, Dr Chris Ngige, in a telephone interview Sunday, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the ministry in April received the application from CONUA for registration as a new union in the university.
Noting that the application was awaiting deliberation as stipulated by Trade Union laws, he explained that a committee will be set up to define modalities before it will be approved.
Said Ngige: “They have not been registered yet; their application is in the ministry. It has not been treated.
“We are still looking at their application. I asked a committee to look into it, when we look at the committee’s report, we will know what to do.
“They submitted it even before I left office initially, they submitted the application in April.”
On whether CONUA would not duplicate the functions of ASUU, Ngige said that would be the duty of a committee set up on the matter to reveal.
The National Coordinator of CONUA, Mr Niyi Ismaheel, said Sunday in Abuja that CONUA had a sole purpose of redefining unionism and restore peace and stability in the universities in Nigeria.
While addressing journalists at the end of its first National Stakeholders’ Forum at the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU Ile-Ife, Ismaheel, had said that the union was formed with the goal to formulate a new approach of engagement in addressing the welfare of its members.
According to him, the union will help put to an end to unnecessary delays in the academic calendar of Nigerian students, following frequent strikes.
“The Union, which started in OAU now has Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Federal University, Oye Ekiti, Federal University, Lokoja and Kwara State University, Molete as members.
“The union is putting necessary documentations in place for official recognition by the university management and the government,” he said.
The ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi had not responded to calls placed to his phones, as at the time of filling this report.