The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has threatened to shut down all Polytechnics in Nigeria if the Federal Government fails to meet up with its demands. This is just as the one-month ultimatum the union gave to the government elapses next week Wednesday.
The National Executive Council (NEC) of ASUP had in March at the end of the Union’s 102 National Executive Council meeting in Yola, Adamawa State, gave a one-month ultimatum. Arising from its an emergency congress on Thursday, the ASUP Zonal C, at the Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic, Ijebu Igbo, Ogun State, the union insisted that the Federal Government must meet up with its demands before the expiration of the one-month ultimatum.
Addressing newsmen, the Zonal Coordinator, Yekini Asafe said ASUP had suspended its 61-day long industrial action on June 10, 2021, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the government.
Asafe who was flanked by other branch chairmen from the zone said due to the failure of the government to meet their demands, the union may be forced to resume the suspended industrial strike action. He said the NEC meeting scheduled for Abuja on May 4 to make the decision.
According to him, some of the items under the union’s demands include; the non-release of the revitalisation funds for the sector, non-release of arrears of the new minimum wage, and non-release of the reviewed nomination instruments for institutions and Managements as well as programmes accreditation among others.
The Zonal Coordinator also said there has been a delay in the appointment of substantive Rectors at Federal Polytechnics Mubi, Offa and Ekowe, all in Adamawa, Kwara and Bayelsa States. He noted that Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna and Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, and Ogun State, have also been operating without substantive rectors despite the conclusion of the process for appointment in the affected institutions.
Asafe called on the government to address the demands of the union to avoid shutting down the polytechnics nationwide. “We are deploying this medium to equally appeal to members of the public to prevail on the government to do the needful and avoid a shutdown of the sector.
“In choosing to extend the long-expired three months suspension period of our industrial action, we are convinced that the extra window of one month typifies our level of restraint and consideration for our students and other members of the public even as we hope that the government will take advantage of this opportunity to avoid a shutdown of the sector,” Asafe said.