Chris Steven, Abuja
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics(ASUP) has directed its members in all the public polytechnics across the country to embark on a one week strike beginning from January 30,2017 to February 6, 2017.
The directive was contained in a press release issued in Abuja on Wednesday by the National President of the union, Comrade Usman Dutse after an emergency meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the union.
The union, according to Comrade Dutse had in earlier letters dated July 20, 2016 and November 14, 2016 communicated the decision of its NEC to withdraw the services of its members if a number of issues identified as undermining the sector were not addressed .
“Members are therefore directed to ensure total compliance as no academic and administrative activity is expected in any public Polytechnic across Nigeria within the period and wait for further directives from the union’s organs” said Comrade Dutse
He disclosed that the November 14 ,2016 letter conveyed a one month ultimatum to government on a number of issues ranging from non-implementation of the report of the NEEDS assessment which revealed that public polytechnics and colleges technology in the country require the injection of N652,591,to address the rot in infrastructure in the sub-sector noting that nothing has been done by the government.
Comrade Dutse also lamented the sustained poor funding of polytechnics as shown in the poor unimplemented capital grants to polytechnics and withdrawal of allowances in Federal Polytechnics since 2016 as well as sustained shortfalls in personnel allocations and non funding of promotion exercises.
” There is no attempt to address this in the 2017 budget estimates currently before the National Assembly. Our colleagues in the states are worse off as they operate without grants .
Members are owed salaries in arrears ranging from two to nine months in Edo, Bayelsa, Osun, Kogi, Benue , Oyo , Ogun, Ondo, Imo and Abia states. In Rivers state, check off dues and other deductions of our union have been withheld for more than four months.” He said
He also accused the Federal Government of deliberate attempt to frustrate the resolutions of the meeting of the Council on the Establishment held in July 2016 noting that the resolutions directed the removal of the age long entry level dichotomy against HND holders which he said no further steps have been taken in that direction.
Comrade Dutse said despite ” the severity of the issues listed, Government has not , within the intervening period demonstrated enough passion to address them leaving the union with no choice especially as we have demonstrated enough patience in differing this decision since August 2016″