The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP has revealed necessary steps that must be taken first by the federal government before the union can call off its industrial action.
Gistlover recalls that the union announced the shutting down of all polytechnics across the country on April 6, 2021, protesting against the government’s inertia towards the implementation of its demands.
Appearing on a live programme on African Independent Television (AIT) on Monday, April 12, the National President of ASUP, Anderson Ezeibe, pointed out the core demands that once addressed by the government, the academic body will call off the strike.
According to him, ASUP understands that some of its demands will require giving the government some time, however, some salient issues must be addressed. Ezeibe reiterated that the key demands are the payment of minimum wage arrears, the establishment of a proper regulatory structure, and a written commitment to assent the bill calling for the creation of a National Polytechnics Commission.
He said: “We also expect the government to look into the issue of our minimum wage arrears. We verily believe this government can fund this. It’s about four billion for our sector. There’s a presidential directive in 2019 that all workers in the different MDAs should be by December 1, 2019. Here we are in April 2021, we are still owed,” Ezeibe said.
“We expect to have a proper regulatory system to ensure that in polytechnics our members are owed, states where our members are not allowed to attend the mandatory retirement age and states where there are no government councils and all, we have proper regulatory instruments to put them in line.
“Because the state has to be the same. Education is of course on the concurrent list, but standardisation and regulation are on the exclusive list. This federal government through its own agencies prescribes standards.
“We expect the government to commit to the establishment of a National Polytechnics Commission, already the bill has passed through the first reading at the House of Representatives. But we want the government to commit in writing, that anytime the national assembly passes all of these processes, that this bill will be signed into law. If we have all of these, we’ll be good.”
Ezeibe disclosed further that ASUP has been receiving signals that might lead to another meeting with the federal government later in the week.
In another news, Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has reacted to reports making the round that the United States Government placed him on their terrorism watchlist.
Gistlover had reported earlier that the minister was allegedly placed on the watchlist due to his alleged ties with Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda.