It’ll be counterproductive – Labour leader
Teachers deserve encouragement, commendation – Peter Obi
The Federal Government on Tuesday broke the ranks of the Academic Staff Union of Universities when it registered two unions in the university system.
The unions are the National Association of Medical and Dental Academics and the Congress of Nigerian University Academics.
The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, explained that the two bodies will exist alongside ASUU.
The CONUA broke away from ASUU in 2018 after some disagreements two years earlier.
The ASUU rival group had been mounting pressure on the Federal Government to register it, in the belief that it already met all the conditions for registration.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14, 2022 as lecturers of public universities protest unpaid allowances and demand a better welfare package from the Federal Government.
However, a labour leader who preferred not to be named told The Point on Tuesday that the decision of the Federal Government will be counterproductive.
He said that the government will be thoroughly embarrassed.
“Those close to the corridors of power should talk to Ngige and his co-travellers not to take that route.
“Except if my understanding of the Trade Union Act is faulty, no trade union can be registered if a properly functional union is already operating in that organisation. In that sense, ASUU is already in existence and there is no basis for registering another union in the same sector.
“Again, the government has played its hands wrongly,” he said.
Also, the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has explained that teachers form a critical and indispensable part of educational development in the nation, saying that they deserve commendation and encouragement for their role in driving national development and progress.
Obi, who made this known in his message to mark World Teachers Day 2022, applauded all teachers in Nigeria for their sacrifice to ensure that Nigerian students, at all levels of learning, receive good educational and moral formation.
He said that by their critical role in moving the educational sector forward, they are helping to drive national growth and development, which education is a critical component of.
Obi encouraged the teachers to strive daily to remain good role models to students, both in learning and in character.
He also urged them to continuously improve their knowledge and skills, so as to keep pace with the dynamic and constantly evolving global education system, and be at par with their peers around the world.
The front runner presidential candidate lamented that education has continued to suffer untold neglect from the government, thus leading to obvious neglect of teachers’ welfare.
He said that the lingering strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities exemplifies the neglect education has continued to suffer due to bad governance in the country.
“It remains unimaginable that after 8 months of industrial action by the ASUU, the Federal Government is yet to find a lasting solution to the issue which has lingered over the years.
How can we achieve a truly progressive nation with education and teachers’ welfare continually relegated to the background,” Obi queried.
He called on the Federal Government to consider the future of the young students, who are the major victims of the ASUU strike, and as a matter of urgency, ensure that the demands of ASUU are resolved so that the students can return to school.
Obi recalled his years as the Governor of Anambra State, how the state soared in educational development, maintaining the first position in WAEC and NECO during his administration. He revealed that the teachers in the State played a significant role in that glorious achievement.
“Just as we managed, motivated and encouraged the teachers to give their best during my years as Governor of the State, we will ensure that teachers in Nigeria are well trained and motivated to remain productive in their duties, under my watch, when elected the President of the country,” Obi concluded.