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The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sign into the law the Polytechnic Act recently passed into law by the National Assembly for the smooth running and industrial harmony in the nation’s polytechnics.
The union also frowned at what it described as showdy process of appointing Rectors of some polytechnics without due diligence, saying this has become an embarrassment to the sector, demanding the reversal and adherence to due process in such appointments at the Federal Polytechnic Bida and Ile Ile-Oluji.
In a communique at the end of its National Executive Committee meeting signed by National Publicity Secretary, Comrade Chris Nkoro, the Union said failure to adhere to due process in the appointment of Rectors or the reversal of such, the union may be forced to embark on a one week strike to protest such actions.
The communique asked the Minister of Education and the management of the National Board for Technical Education, the regulatory agency for polytechnics in the country to ensure that the new Polytechnic act is transmitted to the President immediately for his ascent.
While congratulating Nigerians for the success of the 2019 general election, the union said the outcome of the election is a huge leap in Nigeria’s democracy and urged the elected ones to be magnanimous in victory.
The polytechnic lecturers however condemned the pockets of violence in various parts of the country during the elections, particularly “the loss of lives of our members in Rivers state and harassments in Bauchi and Taraba states and called on federal government to avail itself of technological gadgets to track security challenges in the country.”
They also expressed concern over the rising cases of armed banditry and kidnapping in the country, a situation they said has made people prisoners in their homes and called on government at all levels to be more alive to their responsibility of safeguarding the lives and properties of Nigerians irrespective of social strata or creed.
The Union said “Laws and Regulations can make or mar the progress of any organization. Noting this, the NEC is appreciates the 8th National Assembly for having passed the corrected Amendment Bill of the Polytechnics Act.
“The NEC however, calls on the FME and NBTE to quickly facilitate the process of transmitting of and the subsequent signing of the Bill by the President, Mohammadu Buhari as soon as possible for improved productivity and best practices in the Polytechnics and Monotechnics.”
They also at the persistent lethargic disposition of the Federal government and its agencies towards re-negotiation of FGN/ASUP agreement is utterly disappointing to the 94th NEC which views this as a ploy to cripple the system and perpetuate suffering on our members asked the government to without further delay, commence the re-negotiation process.
It observed that while the Union had agreed on the terms of enrolling of the sector into IPPIS, some rectors have continued to use backhand ploy to enrol some institutions without recourse to our Union’s documented peculiar concerns while asking government to promptly call these erring rectors to order.
The union is also not happy that salary shortfalls and CONTISS 15 migration challenges which led to the suspended strike action have persisted, despite continued assurances by government that this situation has been dealt, stressing that with the conclusion of the 2019 general election, these issues would be addressed squarely by government immediately.
The union also frown at the conditions in State Polytechnics/Monotechnics in terms of delay in payment of salaries, arrears of promotions and other infractions are still sources of grave concern, stressing that the situations still prevail in Abia, Kogi, Imo, Osun, Oyo, Benue, Nasarawa, Niger, Ekiti, Ondo and Zamfara.
It reiterates the firm invocation of the “no salary, no accreditation” policy on the institutions concerned and further urges that all cases of victimization should be adequately redressed immediately.
The union appeal to governments at all levels to desist from reneging on agreements and address these recurring issues in the spirit of the Union’s magnanimity in suspending the strike in February 2019, adding that by so doing, government would have shown its sincerity, humanity, altruism and responsiveness to improve the citizenry for higher industry.