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Withheld Dues: FG Rejected ASUU Report — NLC

The Academic Staff Union of Universities’ four years’ worth of audited reports were rejected by the ministry’s Office of the Registrar of Trade Unions, and the Nigeria Labour Congress duly informed Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment, of this decision, according to report.

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ASUU claimed that the Federal Government had failed to pay the union’s check-off dues for November 2022, despite early deductions from the source.

The Ministry of Labour and Employment’s spokeswoman, Olajide Oshundun, confirmed the incident and informed The PUNCH that the dues were withheld since ASUU failed to submit the reports.

ASUU had insisted that the government see the report.

A National Executive Council member of the union on Wednesday provided our reporter with a letter that the NLC had produced to support its allegation.

In a letter dated September 22, 2022, and addressed to Ngige, NLC stated that the ministry officials had cut short ASUU’s attempts to submit the reports.

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The letter, which was signed by NLC President Ayuba Wabba, partly reads, “We understand that ASUU had responded to the directives of the Registrar of Trade Unions to submit its Annual Financial Reports and Audited Accounts within 72 hours. The Annual Financial Reports and Audited Accounts of ASUU as requested were submitted by ASUU to the Office of the Registrar of Trade Unions, Federal Ministry of Labour in less than 24 hours, specifically on September 8, 2022.

“We are greatly alarmed that the timely submission of the annual financial reports and audited accounts by ASUU in accordance with the directives of the Registrar of Trade Unions was rejected by the staff members at the Office of the Registrar of Trade Unions. The staff members disclosed that they were under strict instructions not to accept ASUU’s annual financial reports and audited accounts.

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“Later efforts to send the requested union’s financial documents by courier services were equally rejected by the Office of the Registrar of Trade Unions.”

The Registrar of Trade Unions had threatened to revoke the union’s certificate of registration, and the NLC claimed in the letter that the short notice given to ASUU to submit its reports and the refusal to accept the same documents upon submission suggested “a very sinister agenda that is capable of destroying the current general harmony in industrial relations in Nigeria.”

When our correspondent inquired about the letter’s substance with the ministry’s spokesperson, Oshundun, he was given the assurance that he would look into it and come back to him.

As at the moment this story was filed, he still hadn’t done so.

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