National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities , ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke has described the registration of two new trade unions by the Federal Government for academic staff in the university system is inconsequential.
Recall that the minister for Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige on Tuesday presented certificate of registration to the Congress of University Academics (CONUA) and the National Association of Medical and Dental Academics.
Osodeke said in an interview with Vanguard newspaper that ASUU was unbothered by the decision of the Federal Government to recognise both unions through the Federal Ministry For Labour and Productivity.
“That does not in any way affect us. We are a disciplined and focused union and we know what we are doing and what we are after. Let them register as many unions as they like. That is inconsequential as far as we are concerned. We are not also in any way threatened. The sky is big enough for birds to fly.
“We know our members, we know our strength and we also know what our vision and mission are. Our members are not saboteurs or bootlickers . Our struggle is for a better educational system in the country. If the system is good, all of us will benefit and it is not only ASUU members’ children and wards that are going to benefit from improved funding and the provision of better facilities in our institutions,” the paper quotes him as saying.
ASUU National President also dismissed President Muhammadu Buhari allegation that unions in tertiary protest about problems they created through their many acts of corruption.
The President who spoke during an event organised by ICPC, also accused ASUU and other unions of lying about the investments made into education by his government and states.
“As a union, we have been championing transparency and accountability in the university system. That is why we are calling for the adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, as the payment platform in the university system. Those indicted for misappropriating over N100 billion through their IPPIS, are they our members?
“Moreover, one of our demands is that Visitation Panels be set up to probe the activities and the finances of universities in the country. If we don’t want corruption stamped out, we would not be asking for that, ” he was quoted as saying.