“The Registrar of Trade Unions has written to them to show why we should not withdraw their certificate of registration. They have not responded to the letter. Rather, I learned that they came last Friday with bundles of papers and said they are the audited accounts”
PEGASUS REPORTERS, LAGOS | SEPTEMBER 23, 2022
The saying that those who live in glass house must not throw stones is manifesting in the face-off between the Academic Staff Union of Universities the the federal Government, a few day after the National Industrial Court ordered the academic back to the classroom.
In the new twist, government is threatening to withdraw the union’s Certificate of Registration, CoR, because of its alleged failure to submit the financial reports of its audited account as required by law in the last five years.
The government, unable to reach a compromise with the union may have beam a searchlight into the unions finances through the Registrar of Trade Unions, which consequently issued a query to the body on why its CoR should not be withdrawn for violation of the law.
Labour and Employment Minister Dr. Chris Ngige confirmed the new twist while hosting the leadership of the Nigerian Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA) at work on Wednesday night.
It will be recalled that the minister had referred the prolong strike to the National Industrial Court, NIC, for arbitration following a breakdown of negotiations between the striking Universities’ teachers and the Federal Ministry of Education.
Dr. Chris Ngige said that ASUU was in the habit of not obeying the law that set them up, with regard to the submission of their yearly audited account. he also claimed that he had pleaded with the Registrar of the Trade Unions not to allow the hammer of the law to descend on ASUU because of the prolonged strike as any action taken by the government would be wrongly interpreted.
The minister noted that “ASUU has not responded to the relevant Section of Trade Union Creation for submission of audited accounts as to how they utilise their money.
“The money they collect as check-off dues, should be accounted for. So, the Trade Union Act says that in June of any given year, unions should produce audited accounts at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
“The Registrar of Trade Unions has written to them to show why we should not withdraw their certificate of registration. They have not responded to the letter. Rather, I learned that they came last Friday with bundles of papers and said they are the audited accounts.
“Of course, he rightly told them that ‘I didn’t ask you for your audited accounts anymore. I need you to respond to my query on why disciplinary action should not be taken against you.
“If disciplinary action is taken against ASUU now, although I am restraining it, they will say that it is because we are in court. They will say that we are being victimized because we are on strike. We are being punished. Whereas, they have been running foul of the law.
“Five good years, they have not tendered an audited account of their activities, at least, for the benefit of their members. For now, you are their members. They should give you an account of how they spent your money. They have not done so.”
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