Polytechnics Union Says Strike Action Is Imminent

Richard Ginika Izuora

A strong warning has been issued by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), asking Nigerians not to blame them if they down tools.

The Union claimed that members are not fairly treated especially with regard to the unsatisfactory status of the implementation of the Union’s Memorandum of Action signed with the government in April 2021.

ASUP Publicity Secretary, Abdullahi Yalwa, in a statement on Sunday, October 10, said of particular interest in the items include the non-release of minimum wage arrears to staff of Federal Polytechnics; and also several State-owned Polytechnics; non-release of the approved N15 billion Revitalization Fund for the sector more than 3 months after the approval; non-commencement of the renegotiation of the Union’s 2010 agreement despite the reconstitution of Governing Councils; as well as the continued non-payment of salaries in several state-owned institutions.

“The ASUP equally expressed its dismay at recent reports of infractions; in the process of appointment of Principal Officers in Federal Polytechnics and some State-owned Polytechnics; in disregard of extant provisions in establishment laws.

“The Union particularly noted the events at Federal Polytechnic, Ekowe where the process of appointment of Rector was flawed from inception leading to the shortlisting of unqualified persons; Federal Polytechnics, Offa and Mubi where the process has been tainted by the deliberate exclusion of qualified persons; as well as Federal Polytechnics Oko, Offa, Auchi, and Kaura Namoda where Council affairs are being relocated to the FTC, without due consideration to the cost implication on the institutions, safety of staff and sensitive documents as well as general administration of the affected institutions.

“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.” Yalwa said.

In continuation the Publicity Secretary said, “The ASUP 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 Union also urged the government to “stop the emerging trend; of exporting Governing Council meetings and activities to the FCT; by some Governing Councils in the sector.” and that the Union will not give any warning again to the government; if it fails to urgently address the issues.

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