The Federal Government has moved to register a rival union to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as it has given the committee responsible for the consideration of a request for registration of Congress of University Academic (CONUA) 4 weeks to submit its report.
This is coming as members of ASUU, who have continued with their 10-month old strike, are scheduled to resume their negotiations with the Federal Government on Friday, November 20, 2020.
This hint was given by the Minister for Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige, on Thursday, November 19, 2020, when the leadership of Congress of University Academics (CONUA), led by its National Coordinator, Dr Niyi Sunmonu, paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja.
While receiving a delegation of CONUA’s leadership whose membership is drawn from university lecturers opposed to ASUU, Ngige commended them for initiating the process to register the union and assured them that their application for registration as trade union would be treated with fairness and without fear or favor.
The minister expressed regret for the long strike by ASUU, saying that it had impacted negatively on the educational development of the country.
Ngige said, “We are receiving you in audience formally today in this ministry. We have the right to receive associations of persons that are workers, whether we have registered them or not, just as you have the right to apply for registration which is the lawful thing to do.
“We have the right to receive and hold meetings with you. The journey to have you registered has just started. You have done the right thing by applying and this ministry has also done the right thing by processing your registration.’’
“The review of your application for registration is ongoing. I have put up a committee to look into that review. I will ask the committee to wind up its work. We are giving them four weeks from today to turn in their report to the ministry. Part of our job here is to register unions; it is also part of our job to make sure that unions that are not functional are helped.
On his part, Sunmonu pointed out that CONUA was enjoying large followership with many universities registering more members by the day since it came on board in February 2018.
While pleading with the minister to use his good office to ensure the registration of the association as an independent academic union, he said that CONUA was established due to irreconcilable differences between its members and ASUU.
Sunmonu said, “CONUA members are not members of ASUU and we are not ready to be part of ASUU due to irreconcilable differences and modes of operation.’’
“ASUU no longer represent our interest and aspirations. CONUA fits to be described as a group of people who are independent academics and who have decided to come together to form a union committed to the advancement of education in Nigeria.”
He condemned the prolonged strike in the university system and encouraged unions to rather engage the government constructively rather than down tools every time, considering the negative effect of that on the educational system. He said that CONUA, if finally registered, would always constructively engage the government.
He said, “The government cannot see what we see and we will not see what the government sees, but when we have our mind made up in a constructive manner, we will come to a reasonable agreement to further progress our universities and for the advancement of the nation.
“We want to ensure a seamless and uninterrupted academic calendar in the university system. “This strike has done more damage than good. As academics and researchers, we are supposed to have evaluated the effect of the strike on our institutions, especially on our collective psychic.
“From the preliminary report that we have, the strike has done more harm than good to our universities. Nigerian Universities should rank comfortably with any other university in any part of the world.”
It can be recalled that ASUU has been on strike since March 2020 due to disagreement with the Federal Government over the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) amongst other issues, which the university lecturers said contravenes the policy on autonomy for Nigerian universities.
Traffic violation: Lagos says LASTMA officials to carry body cameras in next few weeks
Within the next few weeks, LASTMA officials will start wearing body cameras to monitor traffic violations.
The Lagos State Government has said that officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) will start using smart body cameras within the next few weeks to monitor traffic violations.
This is coming after a viral video that has been in circulation, showed a man driving his Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), driving against traffic along International Airport Road, hit a policeman with the car and he fell over the bridge when attempts were made to apprehend him.
This was disclosed by the General Manager of the LASTMA, Olajide Oduyoye, while answering questions on a Channels Television Programme monitored by Nairametrics, Sunrise Daily, on Friday, February 26, 2021.
The LASTMA general manager who pointed out that technology is the way to go, said that Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is on top of that and in 2020, approved the deployment of technology to improve our communication for the agency.
What the LASTMA General Manager is saying
Oduyoye, while answering questions during the interview said, ‘’I’m glad that you said that and of course technology is the way to go, our Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu is very much on top of that. He approved the deployment of technology for us to improve our communication last year 2020.
This year, we are definitely hoping in the next few weeks to start what you would say non-approachable offence dealings. That means we are going to be having body cameras on officers to capture incidences because things happen so fast and you don’t really have time to say okay let me get my camera and everything, but if you have your body camera on that is recording, then you can capture all sorts of different things that you can use against typical offenders.’’
While lamenting that chronic traffic violators do often remove traffic signs to deliberately disobey road laws, the LASTMA boss warned road users to obey traffic laws and not attempt to flee when caught.
What this means
- The members of the general public have often called to question, the mode of operation of LASTMA, with calls for reforms which includes the deployment of technology in their operations.
- This has often led to conflict between the officials of the agency and motorists some of who deny allegations against them and accuse LASTMA officials of extortion and being overzealous.
- The LASTMA officials, who sometimes are at the receiving end, have had to deal with attacks on them by traffic violators, in the course of discharging their duties.
- The deployment of technology especially the smart body cameras will go a long way to drastically reduce these conflicts and make the operations of LASTMA more credible.
Bandits kidnap students at Girls Secondary School in Zamfara State
Armed bandits have attacked and abducted students of a secondary school in Zamfara State.
Armed bandits have kidnapped an unspecified number of students at the Girls Secondary School, Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State.
This was disclosed by the state media agency, NTA in a statement on Friday morning.
“Armed bandits kidnapped an unspecified number of Students at Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Talata Mafara Local Government Area of Zamfara State,” they said.
The Commissioner of Police in Zamfara Abutu Yaro confirmed that 317 female students of the Government Girls Science Secondary School, Jangebe were kidnapped on Friday.
“People must understand that the government and security agents are on their side and against the bandits that is why it is very important for them to see the need to allow security agents do their work effectively and rescue the victims.
“We are doing our best along with all sister security agencies, members of the vigilantè group and the state government to get to the bottom of this matter.
“l can assure you that we will rescue all the students unhurt,” he said.
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