Abuja – A parallel academic staff union has emerged in Nigerian universities. It goes by the name Congress of University Academics (CONUA).
The breakaway union from the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) claims to have emerged to redefine unionism and restore peace and stability in university academic calendar.
Our correspondent learnt that the union held their first national stakeholders’ forum at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) at the weekend.
Niyi Ismaheel, national coordinator of the union, is alleged to be behind the plot to break away from ASUU.
He was quoted as saying the union was formed in order to formulate a new approach of engagement in addressing the welfare of its members and put to an end the unnecessary wasting of students’ academic time as a result of frequent strike actions.
It is alleged that 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 affiliate members.
The union is believed to be putting necessary documentation in place for official recognition by the university management and the government.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, confirmed the development in a telephone chat in Abuja on Sunday.
According to the minister, CONUA’s application for registration has been pending in the ministry since April this year.
He said a committee had been delegated to look into their request for registration.
“We have not registered it, but their application is in the Ministry of Labour but it has not been treated.
“Yes, the application is with us; they submitted it even before I left as minister in my first term; we are still looking at their application. I asked a committee to look at it.”