Why ASUP declared indefinite nationwide strike
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THE Academic Staff Union Polytechnic (ASUP), on Tuesday, announced that the union has commenced a nationwide indefinite strike with immediate effect.
ASUP President Anderson Ezeibe made the announcement during a press briefing held in Abuja, stating that academic activities had stopped from April 6 across all 90 of its chapters in Nigeria.
Speaking with The ICIR in a telephone interview after the press briefing, Ezeibe stated some of the reasons for the strike.
According to him, polytechnics in Nigeria had been neglected by the Federal Government, considering the non-implementation of its Needs Assessment Report since 2014.
He stated that all federal polytechnics in Nigeria had been without governing councils since May 2020 and a lot of state-owned polytechnics also did not have such councils.
“They are owing us the arrears of the new minimum wage. While there is a presidential directive in 2019 that everybody (workers) should be paid, our members are still being owed,” Ezeibe said.
He also stated that salaries of the union’s lecturers were not paid in some states like Abia where ASUP members were owed for about 24 months, and other states like Ogun, Osun, Benue and Plateau states.
He also said that the Federal Government had refused to establish a commission to regulate the affairs of polytechnics across the country.
“In Nigeria, we have the National University Commission (NUC) that regulates the affairs of universities. We also have the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) which regulates federal colleges of education, but there is nothing of such for ASUP/Nigerian polytechnics,” Ezeibe noted.
The ASUP president further stated that Nigerian polytechnics were also battling the issue of the appointment of unqualified persons as rectors in some polytechnics in the country, mainly in the states.
When asked why the union was making its demand through strike action, Ezeibe said the strike was a legitimate instrument of engagement for a trade union and it was legally recognised.
“We are not a union that jumps to strike. We gave an ultimatum in March 2020 and unfortunately till now, the government has not deemed it right to address any of these issues, which is why strike has become the last option for us,” he noted.
This is coming three months after the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) called off its strike action.