The leader of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) yesterday insisted that they won’t halt the ongoing national strike, even if it raised eyebrows on several rectors were appointed at several polytechnics.
ASUP National President Anderson Ezeibe spoke at the Auchi Federal Polytechnic in Edo at an emergency congress of the Union as part of his visit to the country.
On April 6 this year, ASUP went on a national strike on six main factors affecting polytechnic education, including non-compliance with the 2010 ASUP / FG agreement, non-payment of salaries, new minimum wage arrears at several state universities and colleges related to the implementation of the NEEDS assessment report of 2014 and the restoration of Polytechnic directors, among others.
Ezeibe praised union members for adhering to strike guidelines, saying: “Every polytechnic is observing the strike and the compliance level is very high, we will continue to persevere, victory is around the corner by the grace of God we will be able to turn around the fortune of the sector.”
“It is true that the government has started to do something. What has been done is the matter of the panel being restored and the visitation panel which has also been prepared.
“Bids have been made to pay the minimum wage that is due and an infrastructure revitalization fund worth N15 billion. They are still at the bid level because the funds have not been released.”
“We want to see the funds being spent on this sector and we want to look at some of the other elements that require a process to be put in place.
“If we get to that point, I’m sure our National Executive Council will reconsider the strike,” he said.
He denied the alleged N20 billion debt totaling 19 Polytechnic employees as tax debt, saying that the money was withdrawn via Pay-as-you-Earn(PAYE) and paid into the state internal revenue where they exist.
However, the President expressed his concern regarding the appointment of a polytechnic rector who did not meet the requirements of the Polytechnic Law, adding that this person must be a senior lecturer at one of the polytechnics for at least five years in order to qualify as a rector.
Earlier, the chairman of ASUP, the polytechnic department in Auchi, Mr. Lawani Jimoh, thanked the national president who had come to the polytechnic to inform members about the progress of the strike.
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