The Federal Government is to blame for the lingering strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) that has crippled academic activities in polytechnics across the country since October last year.
ASUP President Comrade Chibuzor Asomugha said this yesterday when he led the union’s executives to our correspondent headquarters in Abuja on a media tour to sensitize Nigerians on the importance of polytechnic education.
Asomugha, who accused government of gross underfunding of polytechnics, said government has refused to implement major parts of the agreement it reached with ASUP in 2010 which include among other things setting up of a needs assessment committee for polytechnics, implementation of CONTISS 15salary structure and release of a white paper on the state of the polytechnics.
The union is also calling for the abolishment of the dichotomy between university and polytechnic graduates, review of the Polytechnic Act and the creation of a polytechnic commission similar to the ones regulating colleges of education and universities in the country.
“Honestly, as far as ASUP is concerned, there is no reason why the strike should have lingered till now; it is government that is reneging on its promises, on its assurances at every stage of our engagement.
“As far as ASUP is concerned, once government is able to fulfill its promise, ASUP will call-off the strike immediately. We have bent backward so much, that it would be unreasonable for government to continue to be inflexible on this matter.”
Asomugha, who was accompanied by ASUP’s National Secretary Nda Umar Usman, added that the government is not seriousness on ending the matter because policy makers are ignorant of the functions of the polytechnic system.
He also lamented the condition of state polytechnics across the country, stressing that “our polytechnics are appalling and decaying unimaginably.”
He said ASUP had on April 22, 2013 embarked on a seven-day warning strike that culminated into an indefinite one and later suspended following the intervention of National Assembly.
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