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ASUP to commence own strike December 12

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AS the industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) enters its first month, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) says it would be commencing its own indefinite strike from December 12.

National President of ASUP, Usman Dutse, said this on Wednesday, explaining that the decision is due to the failure of the federal government to meet the demands of the polytechnic lecturers.

Dutse said the resolution to commence the strike was reached at the union’s 93rd National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the Yaba College of Technology, Lagos last week.

He noted that the 21-day ultimatum issued by the union on October 2, has since elapsed and an extension of the ultimatum to November has also elapsed, yet the union did not go on strike.

“Government has failed to implement and fulfil agreements it reached with the union as contained in the memorandum of understanding signed,” Dutse said.

Among other things, Dutse said that “the issue of the funding of the institutions has always been a major concern”.

“The institutions are not funded. The states are even worse because state governments just establish schools without actually funding those schools. So, no infrastructure is in place,” Dutse said.

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Also, the bill to review the Act on the establishment of polytechnics in Nigeria, according to Dutse, has not been passed by the National Assembly despite several efforts by ASUP to get the lawmakers to pass the bill. Dutse said perhaps the strike would help in fast-tracking the passage of the bill.

Another cause of agitation for the polytechnic lecturers is the issue of owed salary and allowance arrears, which in some states had risen up to 14 months.

“We have states that are owing about 14-month salaries. Some owe eight months. Benue, Ogun, Osun, Edo, Kogi are owing up to as long as 14 months,” Dutse said.

The last industrial action by ASUP was in November 2017, but following prompt action by the federal government and the agreement to implement the recommendations of the 2014 NEEDS assessment, the strike was suspended 15 days after.

The proposed strike by ASUP will, no doubt, do further damage on the Nigerian education sector. The ministry of labour and employment and the ministry of education have so far not been able to get the university lecturers to suspend their own strike.

The latest meeting between the FG and ASUU representatives on Tuesday ended in another deadlock.

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