Prof Usman Dutse
Polytechnic lecturers, under the auspices of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), will begin a nationwide one-week warning strike from today, Monday, over what they termed failure of government to implement the NEEDS assessment report of July 2014.
The union’s president, Usman Dutse who hinted this yesterday, while addressing journalists in Abuja said there would be no academic and administrative activity in any public polytechnic between 12 noon of 30 January, 2017 and 6 February, 2017.
He noted that already, the union has directed its members in all public polytechnics across the federation to ensure total compliance.
He said, “The union therefore resolved at the emergency meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC), held on the 25 January 2017 to embark on a one week warning strike effective 12 noon, January 30, 2017 to 6 February 2017 in the first instance.
“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 await further directives from the union’s organs.”
Comrade Dutse pointed out that the union had on two occasions in July and November last year communicated the decision of its NEC to withdraw the services of its members if a number of issues identified as undermining the sector are not addressed.
Specifically, on November 14, 2016, the correspondence to government conveyed a one month ultimatum to the government on the issues in contention.
Regrettably, the ASUP president stated that 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 deferring the decision since August 2016.”
The issues in contention include the non-implementation of the report of the NEEDS Assessment report which as at July 2014 revealed that public polytechnics and Colleges of Technology in Nigeria require injection of minimum of N652.6million to address the rot in infrastructure in the sector; sustained poor funding of public polytechnics as shown in the poor but yet unimplemented capital grant to polytechnics and deliberate attempts at frustrating the resolution of the meeting of the Council on Establishment held in July 2016 on the removal of entry level dichotomy against HND holders.
Other issues are victimization of union officials, non-release of union check off dues and interference in union activities, non-release of CONTISS 15 migration arrears, release of visitation panel report of Federal polytechnics and report of Ministerial panels to Federal polytechnics in Auchincloss, Oko’ Yaba and Ado-Ekiti, delay in the review of the Federal Polytechnic Act, non-commencement of renegotiation of the ASUP/government agreement of 2010 and government’s tardiness in the appointment of Rectors of Federal polytechnics.