The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) on Tuesday met with the Federal Government, but said that its strike which commenced at 12 midnight would still stand.
The President of ASUP, Anderson Ezeibe, said this at the Federal Ministry of Education after a meeting with the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.
He said the strike had not been suspended, adding that the meeting with the minister was the beginning of a resolution, “and until it has been satisfactorily resolved, the strike must go on.”
Ezeibe said, “Today, therefore marks Day 1 of the execution of the resolutions of our union. The strike has not been suspended as it is just a few hours old. The meeting with the minister is just the beginning of a resolution and until it has been satisfactorily resolved, the strike must go on”, he said.
The ASUP President said the non-implementation of NEEDS Assessment report of 2014 in the sector, as well as the inability to release any revitalisation fund to the sector despite assurances since 2017 was one key factors for the strike.
He said, “Other issues serving as bone of contention included the non-release of the 10 months arrears of minimum wage owed our members in federal polytechnics and non-implementation of same in several state owned institutions. This is despite the presidential directive for the payment of these arrears since December 2019.”
However, the Federal Government said nothing would be impossible in reaching an agreement with the ASUP.
Adamu said the governing council had been selected and would soon be inaugurated.
Adamu said, “Today, I will not go into specifics or give you any answers. If I’m not mistaken, I have 13 points that you have read out. The Permanent Secretary is not here, or else I would have asked him why the Rapid Response Committee is no longer holding it’s meetings. The committee can solved eight of the issues raised.
“For the governing council, I can assure you that it is set already. We were just waiting for the break to be over and they will be announced and inaugurated. All the points will be looked into carefully and I give you assurance that all will be attended to.”
Meanwhile, polytechnic lecturers across the nation joined the nationwide strike called by the body’s national leadership to demand for their welfare and improvement of the polytechnics.
At the Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, the Secretary General, ASUP, Dr Olaniyi Amira, said, “For now, academic activities have been suspended. Students who have one academic issue or another to discuss with their lecturers will have to wait until the end of the strike.”
In Bayelsa State, lecturers at the Federal Polytechnic, Ekowe, as well as ASUP members at the Bayelsa State Polytechnic, Aleibiri, joined the national strike on Tuesday.
Chairman of ASUP, Federal Polytechnic, Ekowe, Charles Amgbare, and his counterpart at the state polytechnic, Aduba Okilo-Fred, confirmed the development in separate telephone chats with The PUNCH on Tuesday.
“No, we cannot be at work. It is a national strike and we have already keyed into it. The strike commences today (Tuesday). There is no going back,” Amgbare said.
Also, lecturers at the Federal Polytechnic Offa, Kwara State on Tuesday joined the nationwide strike, but the situation was not the same at the Campus of the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin where lectures were seen delivering lectures.
It was gathered that the state government had since 2009 banned ASUP from operating in the state institution.
Chairman of the Offa Federal Polytechnic chapter of ASUP, Dr Waheed Balogun, said, “Federal Polytechnic, Offa is in total compliance with the directive of the national body of ASUP to embark on industrial action to back up our demands.”
In Lagos State, it was gathered that lecturers at the Yaba College of Education, as well as the Lagos State Polytechnic complied with the order of the national body.
The Chairman, ASUP, YABATECH, Remi Ajiboye, said there was strict compliance to the strike order.
Ajiboye told our correspondent that the union held a congress on Tuesday to ensure that members complied.
However, there was no indication on Tuesday that lecturers at the Hassan Usman Polytechnic, Katsina, joined the strike.
This is because the institution was already on the second semester break while resumption had been tentatively put in June, 2021.
However, academic activities at Moshood Abiola Polytechnic and Federal Polytechnics, Ilaro and other polytechnics in Ogun State on Tuesday were grounded by the strike.
The chairman of ASUP MAPOLY branch, Chibuzor Osifalujo, said, “For now, it is total. Although we had information that the Federal Government has decided to meet our national officers, we are waiting for what will happen from there but presently we are on total strike.”
Likewise, lecturers at the Federal Polytechnic, Ede and Osun State Polytechnic, Iree, on Tuesday joined the strike.
The ASUP Chairman, Fedpoly, Ede, Adekunle Masopa, said lecturers in the poly had stayed away from work in compliance with the directive of the national body.
Similarly, ASUP chairman, Ospoly Iree chapter, Dr Fatai Afolabi, said lecturers in the polytechnic had joined the industrial action. – Punch.