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Poly lecturers resolve to go on strike

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Mallam Adamu Adamu

The Federal Government has promised to address the issues that led to the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP).

Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, at a meeting with ASUP executives in Abuja, said some of the issues had already been resolved.

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ASUP had embarked on an indefinite industrial action beginning yesterday over the alleged refusal of the government to address its demands.

President of ASUP, Comrade Anderson Ezeibe, explained that the union declared the strike over the sorry state of public polytechnics and monotechnics as well as general decay in the polytechnic subsector.

He expressed displeasure that the Federal Government has not responded to series of letters written over the matter since the expiration of the union’s ultimatum issued in March 2020.

Ezeibe listed the 12-point demands of the union to include non-release of the 10 months arrears of minimum wage owed members in federal polytechnics and non-implementation of the same in some state-owned institutions, non-reconstitution of governing councils leading to disruption of administrative processes in polytechnics since May 2020 and victimization of officials of the union in some state polytechnics.

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Adamu, who said some of the issues were already being resolved, disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the constitution of the governing councils and the inauguration would be done soon.

Answering questions from journalists after the meeting with the minister, Ezeibe said the strike would continue until the demands of ASUP are met. He expressed the readiness of the union to dialogue with the government on how to save the polytechnics system from total collapse.

Announcing the commencement of the industrial action at a press briefing in Abuja, yesterday, Ezeibe said members of the union had agreed to shut down all the polytechnics and monotechnics until their demands are met.

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The action began despite Federal Government’s move to avert it. Adamu had on Monday evening invited ASUP for the emergency meeting that was held yesterday.

But Ezeibe, at the briefing, said members of the union had resolved that the strike should begin from 12:00 am of 6th April 2021.

“Today (Tuesday), therefore, marks the first day of the execution of the resolution of our union as, already, academic activities have been shut down in all programmes run in polytechnics and similar institutions across the nation.”

Ezeibe listed other demands of ASUP as non-implementation of NEEDS assessment report of 2014 in the sector and non-release of any revitalisation fund to the sector despite assurances since 2017.

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