Polytechnic lecturers, under the umbrella of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), have threatened to resume their suspended strike over the failure of the Federal Government to fulfil the April 2021 Memorandum of Action (MoA) signed with them to end their strike action.
This is even as the lecturers warned that should they resume their suspended strike action, the government should be held responsible and at government’s failure to fulfil its own part of the agreement,
These were contained in the communique issued at the end of the union’s 16th National Delegates Conference (NDC), held in Asaba, Delta State, between 6th-10th December 2021.
The lecturers, according to the communique made available to journalists in Bauchi by ASUP Publicity Secretary, Comrade Abdullahi Yalwa, demand the immediate release of the approved N15 billion revitalisation fund and the 10 months arrears of the minimum wage owed members in Federal polytechnics.
The union also called for commencement and conclusion of the renegotiation of its 2010 agreement.
According to the communique, “The delegates frowned at the 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 revitalisation 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.”
The union commended the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) for establishing six new Centres of Excellence in six polytechnics, tasking the agency to ensure that the centre is properly monitored with a view to ensuring the desired impact is felt in the sector.
Reacting to incessant attacks by bandits on educational institutions and kidnapping of students and teachers for ransom, the lecturers expressed concerns at the increasing security challenges facing the nation, which they noted has a direct bearing on the peace, order, stability, welfare and well-being of Nigerians.
ASUP, therefore, tasked the government at all levels to find lasting solutions to the protracted security challenges bedevilling all parts of the country.
While condemning plans by the Federal Government to increase the prices of petroleum products and electricity tariffs in the country, ASUP stated that such policies were anti-people which would further pauperise the citizens.
It, however, enjoined the government to cut down on frivolities and ostentatious lifestyle of political office holders and prioritise sectors with direct impact on human development indices in its spending.
The lecturers applauded the National Assembly for passing a bill seeking to abolish the infamous Degree/HND dichotomy and appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the bill, declaring that the bill when functional would assist the technical and vocational educational sub-sector to meet its mandate to the nation.