Nigerian Polytechnic Students May Return Home As Lecturers’ Union Plans Another Strike
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has knocked the government’s approach towards the implementation of a Memorandum of Action (MoA) it signed with the Union in April 2021.
ASUP has, however, threatened that its members may withdraw their services in polytechnics across the country if the government fails to implement the MoA, despite the three-month suspension corridor granted by the Union.
The Union said there will be no further warnings if the government does not quickly avert another round of strikes.
This was revealed in a communiqué issued at the end of the 101 regular meeting of the National Executive Council of the Union at the Gateway ICT Polytechnic in Ogun State, which was made available to journalists on Sunday.
The union urged the public to hold the government and its agencies responsible for any other breakdown of industrial harmony in polytechnics.
The communiqué signed by the National Publicity Secretary of ASUP, Abdullahi Yalwa, stated that they are unhappy with the non-release of minimum wage arrears to the staff of federal polytechnics and several state-owned polytechnics, as well as the non-release of the approved sum of N15 billion revitalisation fund for the sector more than three months after the approval.
According to the communiqué, the NEC meeting noted the non-commencement of the renegotiation of the Union’s 2010 agreement despite the reconstitution of governing councils, as well as the continued nonpayment of salaries in several state-owned institutions.
The statement read, “In view of the unsatisfactory status of the implementation of the Union’s MoA signed with the government in April 2021, the Nigerian public should hold the government and its agencies responsible for any other breakdown of industrial harmony in the sector as our Union and her members have shown considerable patience and restraint.
“The Union once again demands that the government should without further delay ensure the release of the arrears of the minimum wage to staff, release the approved revitalization fund for the sector and set up the implementation committee to administer the funds, recommence the renegotiation of the Union’s 2010 agreement and withdraw institutional accreditation to state-owned institutions where salaries are owed to staff.”
The NEC also noted the events at Federal Polytechnic, Ekowe, where the process of appointment of the Rector was flawed from inception leading to the shortlisting of unqualified persons, as well as Federal Polytechnics, Offa and Mubi where the process has been tainted by the deliberate exclusion of qualified persons.
The Union also explained that the events at the Federal Polytechnics, Oko, Offa, Auchi and Kaura Namoda where council affairs were being relocated to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, saying that this was being done without due consideration to the cost implication on the institutions, the safety of staff and sensitive documents, as well as general administration of the affected institutions.
“The government should revisit the appointment processes for principal officers at the Federal Polytechnics Ekowe, Offa and Mubi with a view to ensuring strict compliance with the provisions of the Federal Polytechnics Act.
“We called for a stop to the emerging trend of taking governing council meetings and activities to Abuja by governing councils of some polytechnics,” the Union stated.