THE Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, yesterday, said it would not go back on its indefinite strike until the federal and state governments meet its demands.
President of ASUP Comrade Chibuzo Asomugha stated this at the Labour House in Abuja at a press conference where he pleaded with Nigerians and the Federal Government to save the polytechnic system from total collapse.
The union had ended a one-week warning strike on Sunday, 29 th April, 2013 and immediately commenced an indefinite strike Monday, 29 th , April 2013. It had earlier issued a 21-day ultimatum on 25th March, 2013 which expired on 22 nd April, 2013.
The issues in contention include “the migration of thelower cadres on the CONTISS 15 salary scale, the release of the White Paper on the Visitations to Federal Polytechnics and the need for the commencement of the Needs Assessment of Nigerian Polytechnics.”
Also in contention is the “worrisome state of State owned Polytechnics in the country, continued appointment of unqualified persons as rectors and provosts of polytechnics, monotechnics and colleges of technologies by some state governments as well as their refusal to implementthe approved salary packages (CONPCASS) for their polytechnics, monotechnics and colleges of technologies and the 65 year retirement age.”
Others are “the insistence of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to include Federal Polytechnics in the IPPIS module as against the union’s protestations while other arms of the tertiary education subsector are allowed to maintain the status quo and the continuedrecognition of the National Board for Technical Education as the regulatory body of Nigerian polytechnics as against the union’s repeated call for the establishment of a National Polytechnics Commission (NPC).” The union is also demanding the acceleration of the “paceof the review of the Federal Polytechnics Act at the National Assembly,” just as itcondemns the “reluctance of the Office of the Head of Service to approve the Revised Scheme of Service for Polytechnics and the non commencement of the re-negotiation of the FGN/ASUP agreement as contained in the signed agreement.”
He said: “We are faced with feeble and moribund infrastructureon our campuses, with no serious challenge to motivate research and learning. Government’s budgetary provisions for the polytechnic sector in Nigeria reflect a deep neglect of the sector. The indicators of this abysmal neglect are as strong as reflected in the 2012 budget.
“As I address you today, only one of our demands, that is, the constitution of Governing Councils has been partially met. There is no genuine effort towards addressing the rest, beyond bureaucratic rhetoric.”
adding that government could have tackled the issues involved before “we embarked on indefinite strike”.
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