The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) on Saturday demanded the immediate withdrawal of the registration of the Congress of Nigerian University Academics( CONUA) and the Nigeria Association of Medical and Dental Lecturers in Academics(NAMDA) by the Federal Government.
The federal government has last week formally registered the two unions. A move seen by many as targeted to break the ongoing eight months industrial strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)
In a protest letter dated October 5, 2022, seen by NOHR, and addressed to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, President, NLC said their registration could not stand because it contravened the laws, which had been tested and affirmed by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, the Appeal Court, and the Supreme Court. The letter is titled, ‘Organised labour rejects the purported registration of new trade unions for academics in Nigerian universities.
The letter with reference number NLC/NS/E.16/654, was copied to the Director-General, Department of State Services, President of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, all affiliate unions of the NLC, and Femi Falana (SAN) said that the foundation of the laws in the National Industrial Court, Appeal Court, and Supreme Court met international labour standards, particularly the International Labour Organisation (Fundamental Conventions 87 and 98), which were some of the first ILO standards ratified by Nigeria upon the attainment of independence in 1960.
Citing some sections of the Nigerian labour laws as well as ILO Conventions 87 and 98, which Nigeria has domesticated, especially in Section 40, which guarantees freedom of association, the NLC said the registration of CONUA and NAMDA was illegal.
“Honourable minister, in view of the foregoing, we demand that you respect the doctrine of the rule of law, especially the clear provisions of our labour laws cited, and withdraw the certificates of registration issued to the two new trade unions. While we look forward to your kind consideration of our demands, please accept the assurances of our warm regards,” Wabba said