Eben Enasco Reporting.

Just as Nigerians are expecting to see a jinx broken over the face-off between the Federal Government and the University lecturers, two new factions have sprung up.

This is as the Federal Government on Tuesday registered two unions, the National Association of Medical and Dental Academics NAMDA and the Congress of Nigerian University Academics CONUA into the university system.

Locals who have witnessed the emergence believe that it is an attempt to break the ranks of the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU.

Presenting a certificate of approval
the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, said the two bodies will exist alongside ASUU.

NAMDA is an umbrella for university lecturers in the medical field, whose group on September 23, said it was not joining the ongoing ASUU, rather, its members were locked out due to the industrial dispute declared by the union.

The group, however, noted that the country has a shortage of medical doctors and that it would not be in her interest to lose a year because of any strike, NAMDA said it would commence examinations for the 500 and 400 levels of medical students.

On its part, CONUA, a breakaway faction of ASUU, led by its National Coordinator, ‘Niyi Sunmonu, a lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, currently enjoys a marginal presence in a few universities across the country, seen as a strategic move by the government to break the ranks of the striking lecturers and woo some of them back to the classrooms.

ASUU has been on strike since February 14 to press home its demands.

The strike is due to the failure of the Federal Government to renegotiate the agreement it signed with ASUU in 2009 including adequate funding of the system, replacement of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System IPPIS, with the UTAS, as the payment platform in the university sector, among others.

According to ASUU, IPPIS has never worked in any university system anywhere, adding that the system shuts the doors against foreign scholars, contract officers, and researchers needing to be poached from existing universities to stabilize new ones.

But the Federal Government insists that the payment model is for transparency and is neither intended to trample upon university autonomy.

Despite a ruling by the National Industrial Court on Sept 21, 2022, ordering the university to return to work, the university lecturers have remained adamant.

Last week, ASUU, through its lawyers, filed an appeal against the court ruling.

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