The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has threatened to paralyse academic activities in Polytechnics across the country if the Federal Government fails to meet its demands before 31st October, 2019.
Rising from its 96th National Executives Council (NEC) meeting on Thursday at the Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra state, the union gave a 21-day ultimatum to the federal government to address its agitations or risk indefinite industrial action in all the nation’s Polytechnics. According to the union, the ultimatum commences immediately from 10th October and expires on 31st of October.
ASUP, in a communiqué signed by its National President, Usman Dutse, said it has started mobilising all of its chapter for the engagement in readiness for the industrial action, if government fails to address its demands before the expiration of the 21 days ultimatum.
“The union’s NEC is hereby issuing an a 21-day ultimatum to the government to address the issues as listed satisfactorily or risk indefinite withdrawal of services by our members nationwide,” Dutse said. He said the body had urged its organs and chapters across the country to commence mobilization for the purpose of the strike aimed at rescuing the sector from imminent collapse.
In a communiqué titled: “Renewed threats to the survival of Polytechnics education in Nigeria, the position of the ASUP,” he said that only an efficiently run educational system would deliver Nigeria’s quest for a knowledge-driven economy. Dutse enumerated the areas of concern to include attempt to forcefully enrol its members into the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), non-implementation of Federal Polytechnics Act 2019 Amendment, as well as Continued Victimisation of the union’s officers and members. “Government has refused all entreaties to reconvene the renegotiation of its agreement with the body since 2015, even after 10 months submission of charter of demands. “Our union has been complaining that insertions that undermine global best practices in tertiary education have been forced into the scheme of service currently at the final stages of the review process. “Critical aspects of the signed Memorandum of Settlement (MoS) signed between our union and the government are yet to be implemented since 2017; this include non-release of the NEEDS assessment funds to polytechnics and release of revitalization funds for the sector,” Dutse stated. Dutse said that government has refused to respond to several correspondences on the issues captured in its letters, and vowed to rise up to the occasion in defence of the sector.