The Academic Staff Union of Universities’ registration license may be revoked by the federal government, according to reports, but the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, has issued a warning in response to the organization’s reported failure to submit its audited financial reports for more than five years.
The NLC insisted that ASUU had submitted all of its financial reports up until 2021 despite disputing the assertions that it had not done so for more than five years as required by law.
In response to media reports that the federal government might suspend ASUU’s registration due to the alleged violations, the NLC claimed that ASUU submitted its financial reports twice but that they were purposefully ignored.
Ayuba Wabba, President of the NLC, issued a warning against attempts to de-register or revoke ASUU’s registration license in a letter to the Registrar of Trade Unions that also included a copy for the Minister of Labour and Employment.
In a letter dated September 2022, the NLC made the following claims, among others: “We understand that ASUU has responded to your query to submit its Annual Financial Report and Audited Accounts within 72 hours. ASUU responded to the query through their letter dated September 9 2022. In the letter, the union posited that it had submitted the Annual Financial Returns and Audited Accounts for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. ASUU also averred that the union has now rendered the account for 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 as at 9 September 2022.
“We understand that due to disruptions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic, the union was unable to fill these reports immediatety the financial documents were prepared and available for filing. We also understand that regardless of the COVID-19 disruptions, the union had paid for statutory required filling fees.
“We also understand that ASUU sent one of their staff and their external auditor to personality deliver the requested financial documents on the 9 of September 2022 but their efforts to submit the documents were rebuffed by your staff who insisted that they were under instructions not to accept any document from ASUU. ASUU subsequently sent the requested financial documents through courier services but again the staff in your office refused to receive the Annual Financial Returns and the Audited Accounts from ASUU.
“Given the current stalemate, we write to implore you to use your good offices to accept and the Annual Financial Returns and Audited Accounts by ASUU in accordance with the provisions of Section 37(1)of the Trade Union Act CAP TILFN 2004.”
The President of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, had earlier written to the Registrar of Trade Unions, intimating him of the development.
Professor Osodeke, among others, stated in a letter dated September 9, 2022, entitled Re: Non-rendition to annual financial returns and audited accounts “I wish to draw your attention to the fact that, on receipt of the letter under reference, the Union submitted the Annual Financial Returns and Audited Accounts for 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 to your office.
The union did not, therefore, neglect, fail, or refuse to submit its annual financial reports and audited accounts in accordance with the law, “Meanwhile, the Union has now rendered the account for 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 . within the seventy-two (72) hours given by your office as at today 9 September, 2022.”