The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has warned that the prolonged industrial action in the nation’s polytechnics will mark a major setback in Nigeria’s aspirations to improve the quality of her human capital.
The chamber, while describing the strike, which has now entered its 11th month as unprecedented, noted that it was detrimental to the country’s overall development.
In a statement by its President, Mr. Remi Bello, the chamber lamented that one of the major challenges of the Nigerian economy today is the capacity gap in technical education. “Therefore, for activities of our polytechnics to be paralysed for close to a year is not a good commentary on our governance process,” it stated.
The LCCI said it believes that the matter deserves a speedy and higher level of attention than it is currently receiving, adding that the protracted strike has far reaching implications for the Nigerian economy and the educational system.
According to the chamber, the strike’s consequences, among others, would include deterioration in the quality of technical education, crises of admission into the polytechnics in the new academic session as there has been no movement in the past one year, waste of public funds as the main purpose of these institutions has not been fulfilled in the past one year.
Other implications as outlined by the chamber are the pre-disposition of the students to anti-social activities, which could arise from over 11 months of idleness and general adverse effects on the psychology of the parents as well as the students.
The chamber therefore called on the government and the lecturers to urgently resume dialogue and resolve the impasse by making compromises on both sides.
It stated: “The current situation is clearly unacceptable and needs to be brought to an end. The educational system has enough issues to deal with especially in the area of quality assurance.
“The industrial action can only worsen the situation. It is our hope that both parties would see reason and return to the negotiation table.”
The Academic Staff Union Of Polytechnics, ASUP embarked on an indefinite strike since October 2013.
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