The Nigerian Government on Tuesday registered two academic unions, the National Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA) and the Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA).
This comes as the government and the main umbrella body of university lecturers, the Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU) have been at loggerheads regarding a 2009 FG/ASUU Agreement on the funding of university education, which the government has failed to fully implement.
While issuing certificates to the two unions, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, said they will exist along aside ASUU.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14 to press home its demands. The strike was embarked upon due to the inability of the Federal Government to renegotiate the agreement it signed with ASUU in 2009 including adequate funding of the system, and replacement of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), with the UTAS, as the payment platform in the university sector.
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.
Despite a ruling by the National Industrial Court on September 21, 2022, ordering the university lecturers to return to work, the University lecturers have remained adamant.
Earlier, ASUU, through its lawyers, had filed for leave to appeal against the court ruling.