Home Government Full List of Trade Unions in Nigeria And Their Functions

Full List of Trade Unions in Nigeria And Their Functions

In any work discipline, there are associations and unions that guides and act for the affairs of the organisation. These organisations are known as trade unions, and in this writeup we will peek at the list of trade union organisations in Nigeria.

Trade Unions in Nigeria

Up until know you might have been hearing about popular trade union associations. This organisation is the association of workers who speaks for their members in a particular field (like medical, teaching or petroleum). Their primary objectives is to ensure their workers’ working conditions and effect implementation of policies to favour them from the government.

Additionally, trade union organisations set working guidelines, mediate the workers with the government, ensure good pay, and also implement conditions for the benefit of their members.

In Nigeria, there are various trade unions. These unions are difering in the field they are on. Like the NMA in the medical profession, or the NUT in the teaching line.

As we further in this article, you will know more about these powerful trade unions that are in operation in the country and their functions.


Full List of Trade Unions in Nigeria And Their Roles

Nigeria has many powerful trade union organisations cut across many work fields. They are:

Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC)

This trade union is seen as one of the most active in the country, due to how they handle issues affecting labour workers in the country, by going on industrial action. NLC house the workers in the country by intervening for them against some goverment odd policies. The trade union body was established in 1978 and has Comr. Ayuba Wabba as its present president.

Furthermore, the Nigerian Labour Cobgress objective is to free Nigerian labour force from maltreatment and abuse, which is mostly through some government implementation and programmes which affects the workers. Issues that the body castigate includes: hike in fuel price, poor payment of salaries and stipends and other agonising issues affecting the general workers.

Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)

This is another trade union in the country. It began in 1978 repacing the then Nigerian Association of University Teachers. The union incoporates all senior and academic staffs in the federal and state universities in Nigeria.

The association acts as protective shield for all government public universities academic staffs, by securing the privileges of its members. ASUU has been seen is so many case going on strike thereby rendering all government universities closed. This actions are taken by the union so as to enable government meet the damand of academic staffs and also improving the standards of the university structures.

Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU)

Popularly known as NASU, it is related union to the preceeding one above (ASUU). This association deals with all issues concerning with non-academic staffs of Nigerian universities, by speaking for the lesser non- teaching staff of public institutions.

NASU was formed as a trade union association in 1977 through the Decree No. 22 (Davison 1977). The formation of this union was because of the need to address critical issue concerning non-academic workers in the government universities.

Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT)

The Nigeria Union of Teachers is a trade union that houses all the teachers in both government primary and secondary schools in the country. The need for this union to be established since December 1931 was because of vulnerabilities uncovered from the cuts in teachers’ pay rates and the appearance of supremacy in the profession.

Today, the body is embossed with the responsibility of being a voice for teachers in country.

Directors Guild of Nigeria (DGN)

The entertainment also have trade unions to administer the field. This is seen in the photography and movie industry, as the union known as Directors Guild of Nigeria. The union is the association which serves a body for motion pictures and TV chiefs in the country’s entertainment industry.

DGN was set up in 2001 and they have presently Mr. Fred Amata as the leader of the union, which also includes movies chiefs and other personalities in the photography field. The objectives of this union is to maintain international standards in filmmaking in the country, and also ensure the enabled working condition of workers in this field.

National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG)

As the union’s name implies, they are a body that ensures the safe work conditions and satisfaction of workers in the petroleum industry. The trade union is a subsidiary of the Nigeria Labor Congress, and they are shielded by the Congress on issues concerning workers in the oil sector.

Members of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers includes those in the oil and gas industries, oil tank hauler drivers and some marketers of these petroleum resources.

Nigeria Medical Association (NMA)

The Nigerian Medical Association, NMA is union that consists of trained experts like Doctors in the medical field. Other workers in Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics, Public Health and Laboratory Medicine are also included in this medial union.

The Nigerian Medical Association as a trade union, aims at ensuring that medical workers are properly cared for: in salary, work safety, and creating a good environment by providing the needed medical equipments.

Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP)

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics is congenerous to its university wing, ASUU, but the difference is their area of application. ASUP body covers all the of the academic staff in the polytechnics. This includes Lecturers, technologists, and all teaching workers in all polytechnics and monotechnics in Nigeria.

The body ensures the working environment for these academic staffs, and they undergo an industrial action to criticize a particular government policy affecting them.

Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN)

This is another association in the petroleum industry. PENGASSAN includes top officials and senior staff in the industry. These senior staff in the oil and gas segment are critical to the country and an action by the union may cripple economy, due to the fact that the sector is the major stake of the country.

National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD)

The Association of Resident Doctors is a medical union that comprises of all specialist in the medical profession in Nigeria. It is a subsidiary of the Nigerian Medical Association.

The role of the union is similar to NMA as it involves all the issues concerning medical workers, but the demarcation between the two medical association is that it relates to issues about resident medical doctors in Nigeria.

Functions of Trade Unions in Nigeria

Generally, we have summarized the various functions which Nigerian trade unions have undertaken over the years since their history. These roles include:

  • Trade unions performs political role as they use their collective right to influence government decisions on behalf of their members and the society at large.
  • They perform market role by intervening and liaising with government on wage bargain which has an impact on both worker and the economy.
  • They also perform regulatory role by providing the standards for jobs terms and conditions that will benefit the ordinary citizen.
  • Trade Unions create a sense of democratic feelingĀ  at the workplace for labourers
  • Takes care of the welfare of its members and groups.


Trade Unions have become a vital piece for many professional disciplines in the country, especially from the significant point that they protect and shield the privileges of their workers for the general interest of the public.

There are lots of trade union in Nigeria in many work fields. We expounded the list of these trade unions, their objectives and how they impact their members and the general public.


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