The Congress of University Academics (CONUA) on Monday debunked insinuations that the Federal Government and some vice chancellors were behind the move to register a new academic body.
The new academic body seeking registration with the Ministry of Labour and Employment also stressed that CONUA would forge ahead with it’s quest to get government recognition.
The national coordinator of CONUA, Dr. Niyi Sunmonu, told our correspondent that the new body has come to stay in the Nigerian university system.
Sunmonu said having two academic unions in the Nigerian university system could be likened to what happened in the labour sector some years ago.
He denied the rumours making rounds that the Federal Government and some vice chancellors were instigating the formation and registration of CONUA to counter the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
According to him, no amount of propaganda would stop the registration of CONUA. He disclosed that academic unions in some universities have indicated interest to join CONUA.
Sunmonu confirmed that officials of CONUA met with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Minister of State for Labour and Employment and the permanent secretary in February and April to discuss modalities for the registration of the new academic body.
“Our discussion with the minister and top officials of the ministry of labour and employment was fruitful.And because of the general election, we couldn’t conclude. The first and second meetings were positive.
“The Federal Government is not sponsoring CONUA. We don’t have any dealings with government. We have issues with ASUU. No vice chancellor is backing us. When we get registered, like wildfire, many universities will show interest in joining us,” Sunmonu said.
He explained that CONUA has written the minister of labour and employment for an appointment to conclude discussions on the registration of the new academic body.
Ngige on Sunday confirmed that CONUA had applied to be registered by the ministry and that a committee has been set up to look at their application.