ASUP Strike: “Our Demands Are Not Just About Payment Of Arrears” Says ASUP President

Immigration recruitment exercise where it was alleged that Polytechnic graduates were categorised along with Secondary School Certificate (SSCE) holders and given the same exam, while university graduates were given a different exam; a development he said was among the major issues they are bent on fighting.

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has revealed that its ongoing strike is about several developmental problems in Nigeria’s polytechnics which the Minister of Education is deliberately ignoring.

National President of ASUP, Chibuso Asomugha, speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise, said that what the association has done was to call the attention of government to the deterioration in the polytechnics and strengthen the capacity of the schools in order to raise the integrity of the products of Nigerian polytechnics.

He said that the main issues they were agitating for include infrastructure, facilities, school categorization, payment of lecturers’ arrears, legal framework of polytechnics, and the integrity of the polytechnic graduates, but the Minister of Education has tried to narrow all the issues down to their financial demands.

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Secretary General of ASUP, Usman Nda-Umar, who was also on the programme, said that the decision of the Minister to ignore other key issues was a deliberate action to blackmail the association.

He revealed that at the last meeting held with the Minister, the association made it known that they wanted a discussion on other issues of concern but the Minister said no.

Asomugha also referred to the ill-fated Immigration recruitment exercise where it was alleged that Polytechnic graduates were categorised along with Secondary School Certificate (SSCE) holders and given the same exam, while university graduates were given a different exam; a development he said was among the major issues they are bent on fighting.

He further revealed that the Minister has been a major source of setback in the process of resolving the crisis in the system. He alleged acts of highhandedness and refusal to see reasons with the association.

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Nda-Umar said that the Government has shown that it was not interested in technical education and for there to be a general change in the perception of Nigerians about the quality polytechnic education; the Government would have to lay the example.

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