The leadership of the striking Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, (ASUP) on Friday stated conditions on which it would call off its industrial action which began April 6.
Insisting that there was no going back on it’s nation-wide strike, it frowned at the manner some rectors were being appointed for some polytechnics.
National President of ASUP, Anderson Ezeibe, stated this at the Federal Polytechnic Auchi, Edo State at an emergency congress of the Union as part of his visit to polytechnics in the country.
ASUP had called its members out on strike to press home its six-point demands, namely: non-implementation of the ASUP/FG agreement of 2010, non-payment of salaries, arrears of the new minimum wage in some state-owned Polytechnics, Implementation of the_5 NEEDS Assessment report of 2014 and reconstitution of the Governing Councils of Polytechnics, among others.
While commending members of the union for complying with the directives on the strike, Ezeibe was satisfied that “Every polytechnic is observing the strike and the compliance level is very high” stressing that “we will continue to persevere; victory is around the corner. By the grace of God, we will be able to turn around the fortune of the sector”.
According to the ASUP President, “It is true that the government has started doing something. The one that has been done is the issue of Governing Councils that have been reconstituted and the visitation panel that have been set up as well.
“Offers have been made for the payment of arrears of minimum wage and the N15 billion infrastructure revitalisation fund. They are still at the levels of offers because the funds have not been released.
“We want to see the funds released for the sector and we want to see some other items that require processes to be put in motion. If we are able to get to that point, I am sure our National Executive Council will take a second look at the strike”.
Ezeibe denied an alleged N20 billion collectively owed by 19 polytechnics staff as tax liability, stating that such monies have been deducted through pay as you earn (PAYE) and paid to states’ internal revenue boards where they exist.
He however, expressed concern over the appointment of allegedly unqualified Rectors for polytechnics against the Polytechnic Act. He pointed out that to be qualified for rector, such a person must be a chief lecturer with at least minimum of five years in any of the polytechnics.
Speaking earlier, the chairman of ASUP, Auchi Polytechnic chapter, Lawani Jimoh, thanked the national president for coming to the polytechnic to inform members on the level of progress in respect of the strike.