By Gabriel Dike
The National Executive Council (NEC) Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has decried the non implementation of the union’s demands including the non-release of N15billion revitalisation fund as well as infractions in the process of appointing principal officers in federal and state polytechnics.
The NEC frowned at the federal government’s lethargic approach towards implementation of some items in the signed Memorandum of Action (MoA) despite the three month suspension corridor granted by the union.
The decision was taken at ASUP NEC (101st Regular) meeting at the Gateway ICT Polytechnic, Saapade, Ogun State where the report of the implementation of the union’s MoA was received and discussed.
According to the NEC resolution, ASUP explained that it will not give the federal government further warning if it decide to take the next step.
The Publicity Secretary of ASUP, Abdullahi Yalwa, in a statement said NEC decried the non-release of minimum wage arrears to staff of Federal Polytechnics and several state-owned polytechnics, non-release of the approved N15billion revitalization fund for the sector more than three 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.
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.
Yalwa said 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 Federal Capital Territory 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.
”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”, ASUP NEC stressed.
Yalwa explained that NEC urged the federal government to revisit the appointment processes for principal officers in Federal Polytechnics Ekowe, Offa, and Mubi to ensure strict compliance with the provisions of the Federal Polytechnics Act and stop the emerging trend of exporting governing council meetings and activities to the FCT by some councils in the sector.
ASUP said it has resolved to deepen its consultation on the next steps and warned that there will be no further warnings if the federal government fails to do the needful in the immediate.