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Education minister, ASUP meet to avert planned strike

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Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba, yesterday, met with leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) in a bid to avert another nationwide strike.

ASUP had issued a 15-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to meet some demands a few years ago, some of which bothered on non-implementation of the Polytechnics NEEDS assessment, shoddy implementation of the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System (IPPIS), non remittance of check-off dues, delays in paying the national minimum wage, among others.

ASUP delegation, led by its President, Anderson Ezeibe, explained their long-standing grievances to the minister, even before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said polytechnics were not ready to resume normal academic activities, as most of the protocols outlined by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 (PTF) were not in place.

Ezeibe added that beyond announcing that all institutions should resume, the polytechnics lacked support to enforce safety protocols for resumption, to which Nwajiuba appealed to public-spirited individuals in communities where the instructions are located to assist.

He revealed that ASUP members regretted why they accepted to enroll in the IPPIS, noting that the policy had been characterised by omission of bona fide staff members, non-remittance of check off dues and closing the windows to effect corrections where necessary, among others.

Responding, Nwajiuba said their demands would be subjected to further scrutiny with a view to putting forward constraints on the part of government that might also be delaying implementation.

He appealed to community members to take ownership of the development of institutions in their domains to bridge the gaps created by the COVID-19 pandemic, insisting that such step was necessary in the interest of Nigeria and the education sector.


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