Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) have warned that they will down tools very soon if challenges with the implementation of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) are not addressed.
The President of ASUP, Comrade Anderson Ezeobe, while addressing journalists in Abuja said the ultimatum issued by the union earlier in the year which had been exceeded due to the COVID-19 lockdown, still remains valid and will be followed by industrial action soon.
He said the National Executive Council (NEC) of the union had directed various chapters to hold congresses with a view to taken drastic decision on the way forward. He said after reviewing the situation regarding the implementation of IPPIS, they have taken a definite stand. He said they they will commence strike without giving any further notice to government on the issue.
He said: “We can’t be giving an ultimatum and be repeating an ultimatum; we decided to go back on our congress to take a referendum, because we have to educate our congress.
“The trade union is an epitome of democracy, so we are taking the matter to our congress to say, this is what has happened and the same way, we will explain to our chairmen, and they’ll take the matter back to congress and then our congress will decides on the direction to take.
“We understand that the pandemic has altered a lot of dynamics and so with the feedback we get from our members, we can come back and say, we are shutting down or giving a particular date. So we are waiting for directives that will come from our congress.”
On the resumption of schools, Comrade Anderson warned that the union would hold government responsible if anything happens to her members and the polytechnic community. He said the government had not provided any safety mechanism or structures that can enable schools to resume safely.
“On the issue of resumption of the schools, we have held a meeting with Chief executives in Federal polytechnics, and we made it clear to them that beyond filling of forms or questionnaire, we told them that not one polytechnic is ready for safe resumption.
“It is not about filling questionnaire, any institution that claims that it is ready, it is only interested in opening so that to generate funds from students fees, non is ready, and if you’re ready show us what you have on ground
“So the truth of the matter is that we are not ready, and we’ve told our members to engage their management, if you’re opening schools, come and tell us what you have on ground. But as a union, we are not ready except something dramatically happen.
“And let me say it again, we are going to hold the government of Nigeria responsible if there’s any outbreak of this deadly disease in any campus of Nigeria polytechnic. Because our handling of this matter is shambolic.”