From Benjamin Babine, Abuja
Following its two-week ultimatum, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has on Tuesday declared and indefinite strike over government’s neglect of the technological education.
The Union had on March 20, 2021, given government an ultimatum to address various of its demands which it claimed had been consistently ignored by the various arms of government.
According to the ASUP, some of the reasons for the indefinite strike is non- implementation of new national minimum wage, non-implementation of the NEEDS Assessment Report of 2014 in public Polytechnics, amongst others.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, the National President of ASUP, Comrade Anderson Ezeibe said the union has been very considerate seeing that it gave a notice to government since March 2020. He said that Government has not responded to any letters written from the union.
Hee said: “We are compelled to address you once more as partners in this patriotic duty to restore pride of place of qualitative education in the Nation’s quest for sustainable development.
“You may recall that following our Union’s resolve to embark on a strike action effective 6th April, 2021 at the 99th meeting of our Union’s National Executive Council meeting held in Katsina a fortnight ago, we updated the Nigerian public through various media outlets
of the unfortunate neglect of the technological education subsector by governments in Nigeria.
“We were clear in pointing at the sorry state of public Polytechnics, Monotechnics as well as the entire subsector; the failure of the government to respond appropriately to the series of letters written on the subject; and we also pointed out the expiration of the Union’s ultimatum issued since March 2020 as well as the development of new issues of concern in the sector due to the negligence of the government.
“Today therefore marks day 1 of the execution of the resolutions of our Union as already, academic activities have been shut down in ALL PROGRAMS run in Polytechnics and like institutions across the nation effective 00.00 hrs of 6th April, 2021.”
Recalling some of the reasons for which they are embarking on strike, he said: “For the avoidance of doubt, the following demands were communicated to the government through the Ministries of Education; as well as Labour and Employment and indeed other ministries where our members offer services through various monotechnics.
“The non-implementation of NEEDS Assessment report of 2014 in the sector nor release of any revitalization fund to the sector despite assurances since 2017. The non-release of the 10 months arrears of minimum wage owed our members in Federal Polytechnics and non-implementation of same in several state owned institutions. This is despite the presidential directive for the payment of these arrears since December 2019.
“Non implementation of the approved 65 years retirement age in the sector by
some state governments notably Kano as well as the continued appointment of
unqualified persons as Rectors of Polytechnics in some states.”
The union went on to appeal to the general public to show understanding and support its effort in demonstrating the seriousness of the issues troubling polytechnics staff across the country.