The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has warned the federal government it might be forced to resume its suspended strike.
ASUP said the reason is because of alleged failure of the Federal Government to fulfil the April 2021 Memorandum of Action (MoA) signed to end the ASUP strike action.
The lecturers have equally demanded immediate release of the approved N15 billion revitalization fund and the 10 months arrears of the minimum wage owed members in Federal Polytechnics, while also calling for the commencement and conclusion of the renegotiation of the Union’s 2010 agreement.
ASUP made the demands in a communique issued at the end of the 16th National Delegates Conference of ASUP held at Asaba, Delta State between 6-10 December 2021 and made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.
The delegates conference was held under the Chairmanship of the ASUP President, Comrade Anderson Ezeibe to review the progress recorded by the Union in her engagements with owners of public polytechnics and monotechnics in the country as well as the state of the nation with emphasis on the national economy and security.
ASUP also told Nigerians to hold the Federal Government responsible if the lecturers resume the suspended strike.
Some of the resolutions reached at the conference as contained in the communique are: “The delegates frowned at government’s failure to fulfil its own end of the bargain resulting from the April 2021 Memorandum of Action (MoA) signed to end the ASUP strike action.
“The NDC renewed the demands for the immediate release of the approved N15 billion revitalization fund and the
10 months arrears of the minimum wage owed members in Federal Polytechnics.
“The NDC further resolved that, should the Union resume its suspended strike action, the government should be held responsible.
“The NDC condemned the reckless breach of the 2019 Polytechnic Act (as amended) in any Federal Polytechnics from across the country and the failure of state governments to domesticate the Act.
“For this reason, the Conference called on the Institutions to abide by the provisions of the Act and also appealed to State Governments to fast track the domestication of the Act to align the governance of their institutions with acceptable standards,” it said.
ASUP, however, appreciated the establishment of 6 new Centers of Excellence in 6 Polytechnics by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and tasked the agency to ensure that the Centres of Excellence are properly monitored to ensure that the desired impact is felt in the sector.
On attack educational institutions and kidnapping of students and teachers for resume, the lecturers expressed concerns at the increasing security challenges facing the nation which has a direct bearing on the peace, order, stability, welfare and well-being of Nigerians.
Accordingly, the ASUP delegates conference tasked Government at all levels to find lasting solutions to the protracted security challenges bedevilling all parts of the country.
The NDC also condemned plans by the government to hike the prices of petroleum products and electricity tariff in the country, pointing at the difficult economic situation in the country driven by policies of such nature in the past including the price hike of cooking gas in the country.
While stressing that such policies are anti-people and would further pauperize the citizens, ASUP enjoined the government to cut down on frivolities and ostentatious lifestyle of political office holders and prioritize sectors with direct impact on human development indices in its spending.
The Union acknowledged and commended the National Assembly for passing a bill that seeks to abolish the infamous Degree/HND dichotomy and appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the bill as such will assist the technical and vocational educational sub-sector to meet their mandate to the nation.
“The NDC condemned the non-payment of salaries in some states like Abia, Ogun, Osun among others by the respective state governments noting that this amounts to a breach of contractual agreements between the workers and the government.
“The NDC thereby tasked the affected state governments to pay up the arrears of salaries owed staff of the affected institutions in the interest of industrial harmony.
“The NDC equally frowned at the non-payment of salaries for the month of November in some Federal Polytechnics as this display of lack of professionalism in budgetary,” the communique said.