ASUP To Begin Indefinite Strike On Monday

ASUP, Strike, Polytechnics
File photo

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has announced its decision to embark on an indefinite strike with effect from Monday, November 13, 2017.

The decision was the outcome of the National Executive Council meeting of ASUP which held on Saturday at the Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna State.

According to them, the industrial action follows the failure of the Federal Government to implement all the agreements it entered with the union since 2016.

The union lamented that despite the long period given to the government to address some of the issues it had raised, government did not consider it necessary to address the demands for improved funding of polytechnic education in the country.

ASUP President, Usman Dutse, and Zone A Coordinator, Kabiru Yunusa, briefed journalists shortly after the emergency meeting which lasted for several hours.

Mr Dutse, who noted that the union had given government sufficient time to implement all agreements, said they had no choice than to embark on an indefinite strike after the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum issued earlier.

According to him, some of the demands include non-implementation of the NEEDS Assessment Report and shortfalls in personnel releases and withdrawal of allowances.

Others are non-passage of the amended bill of the Polytechnic Act, infractions in the appointment of rectors, as well as improving the conditions of state-owned institutions among other issues.

“The tepid response of government to the nine items identified as having debilitating effects on the health of the sector led the union into declaring one week strike in February 2017,” Dutse said.

“The strike, which recorded a very impressive compliance level, had immediate gains in the reconstruction of the governing councils of all Federal Polytechnics, as well as the constitution, inauguration, and commencement of the renegotiation of the union’s 2010 agreement with the government.

“Comrades, the 89th meeting of NEC of our union issued a 21-day ultimatum effective October 9, 2017 to the government (after collation of results of referendum from chapters) to address these issues satisfactorily.

“On October 24, a reconciliation meeting was convened by the Federal Ministry of Labour in Abuja. The ministry in the eye of the storm, the Federal Ministry of Education, was poorly represented that no memorandum of action was agreed on. This clearly shows the level of disdain and disrespect with which the issues of the sector are being handled by the relevant agencies.

“In view of the above, our union resolved in its emergency meeting of NEC on October 31, 2017 to commence an indefinite and comprehensive strike effective from November 13, 2017,” he added.

Gbagyi Villa Residents Protest Planned Demolition By Kaduna Govt.

Gbagyi Villa, Kaduna State, ProtestResidents of Gbagyi community in Kaduna State have asked the state government to drop the planned demolition of their houses that have been marked as illegal structures in the interest of peace in the state.

The residents of the community in Chikun Local Government Area, who staged a protest against the planned demolition on Thursday, insisted that they were the legal owners of the disputed land.

Carrying placards with various inscriptions and chanting anti-government songs, they demanded that the demolition plan be suspended, stating that the matter was already before a court of competent jurisdiction.

They claimed to be in possession of all relevant documents that gave them the right to occupy the land, insisting that the planned demolition was illegal and inhuman.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai had during a working visit to Gbagyi Villa, where the land was encroached upon, said that the state government would demolish all the houses built illegally on the land belonging to the Kaduna Polytechnic.

Although the residents have not presented their land titles to the relevant government agency, Governor El-Rufai said that the government was ready to recognise and protect every proven title to the land.

The leader of Gbagyi community, Chris Obodumu, noted that late Governor Patrick Yahowa in 2011, resolved the dispute and amicably demarcated the boundary between the two parties.

As the controversy lingers, a former Kaduna State Governor, Balarabe Musa, said that those claiming ownership of the land were not the genuine owners.

He advised the aggrieved residents to tread with caution, stating that the land in question was allocated to the Kaduna Polytechnic by the state government as a virgin land over 40 years, until some people started encroaching into it.

Mr Musa, however, urged the government to set up a committee for proper verification before the demolition.

The students of the Kaduna Polytechnic on their part held a peaceful protest where they commended Governor El-Rufai for assisting the institution to recover its land from encroachers.

President of the Student Union Government, Usman Kareem, expressed optimism that the land would solve the school’s myriad of accommodation problems if recovered.

ASUP Threatens Strike Over Non-Implementation Of Agreement With FG

ASUP, agreementThe Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has threatened to embark on another round of industrial action should the federal government continue to ignore the agreement it reached with the union since 2012.

Speaking with journalists in Kaduna during a capacity building workshop for members of the union, ASUP President, Usman Dutse, lamented that several agreements the union and the federal government signed in 2012 were yet to be implemented.

He listed the agreements to include, non-implementation of CONTISS, poor state of polytechnics, under-funding of the sector, dichotomy between HND and bachelors’ degree holders and non-implementation of NEEDS assessment report on polytechnics, among others.

He noted that having given the present administration more than one year to settle down and address their demands, it seemed that the government is not serious in addressing the matter.

On his part, the Rector of Kaduna Polytechnic, Dr. Mohammed Ibrahim, appealed to the union to review its demands in the light of the current economic situation.

He also called for more funding of the polytechnic sector which he said is key to the technical and vocational advancement of the country.

The workshop themed “Administering Trade Unions in a Receding Economy” is aimed at sensitizing officials of ASUP across the country on how to pilot the affairs of the union on the various institutions with regards to the dwindling fortunes of the national economy and how they can collaborate with government to address some of the challenges in the sector.

Notwithstanding the situation, the polytechnic lecturers noted that a situation whereby many state-owned institutions owe their workers over seven months’ salaries and other allowances would no longer be acceptable.

The Minister of Labour and Productivity who was represented by a Director in the Ministry, Mohammed Yusuf, told the lecturers that the idea of shutting down campuses to press home their demands does not go well for the education sector.

Rather, he called for an effective synergy between the union and chief executives of institutions to address their demands.

Although the polytechnic lecturers say they are aware of the fact that the present government came to power about one year ago, but then they are of the believe that government is a continuum.

The issues between government and ASUP have lingered for years.

Kaduna Polytechnic, Gbagyi Community Battle Over Land Encroachment

Demolished-buildingThe Rector of Kaduna Polytechnic, Dr. Muhammad Ibrahim, has condemned the encroachment into the institution’s premises by residents of Gbagyi Community in Chikun Local Government Area of the state.

The Rector is responding to the recent planned demolition of some buildings that were illegally erected on the land by the state government that has generated mixed reactions.

Addressing a news conference on Tuesday, the Rector explained that the land was acquired by the institution since 1976 and compensation fully paid to the legal owners prior to the acquisition, contrary to claims by the residents that nothing was paid to them.

But the residents mostly property owners in the community insist they have valid documents that gives them the right of occupancy for the land.

They are also appealing to the Kaduna State government to suspend the planned demolition until full investigation into the land dispute is conducted.

The Kaduna State government after reviewing the entire transaction, has issued a 21 days ultimatum to the residents to vacate the land as it belongs to the Polytechnic.

The government has also earmarked the buildings have been marked for demolition by KASUPDA.

The Gbagyi Villa Community had last week protested the State Government’s plan to demolish houses alleged to have encroached into the Polytechnic land.

They claimed that more than 3,000 houses had been marked for demolition after the March 26 deadline given by the state government.

The Rector appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene so as to prevent further encroachment and ensure peaceful coexistence.

Niger Governor Appoints New Chief Press Secretary

NigerThe Niger State Governor, Abubakar Sani Bello, has appointed Jibrin Ndache an Assistant Manager and Defence Correspondent with Blueprint Newspapers as his Chief Press Secretary.

The new CPS was born on August 17, 1974 and is a graduate of English from Bayero University in Kano.

He had a stint as a lecturer of Communication Skills at Kaduna Polytechnic before he joined the services of Bifocal Company, publishers of Market Magazine.

He was pioneer management staff of Blueprint Newspapers Abuja at its debut in 2011 and was the Defence Correspondent until his new appointment.

In a maiden meeting with newsmen covering the government house, Ndache solicited for the cooperation of all journalists in the state for the success of his duty.

He pledged to open a new chapter in ensuring very cordial relationship between the media and the government for the development of the state.

The CPS called on journalists to partner with the state government in the development of the state while assuring that the welfare of Government House Press Crew would receive priority attention.

“My duty is to ensure that we work together as a team. This appointment is an opportunity to contribute my quota to the development of the state. I therefore appeal for the support and cooperation of all journalists and media establishments for a collective success,” he said.

Ndache assumed office on Thursday, and replaces Dr Ibraheem Dooba who was reportedly forced to resign over allegations of incompetence and arrogance.

Textile Workers Urge FG To Declare War On Smugglers

Nigeria-TextileTextile workers in the country have called on President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to declare total war against smugglers.

The workers also called on the President to also the revival of collapsed textile factories across the country.

General Secretary of the National Union of Textile, Garment & Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, Issa Aremu, made the appeal at a one day conference organised by the Association of Textile Technologists of Nigeria held at the Kaduna Polytechnic.

He specifically tasked the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali, to justify his appointment by declaring a total war against smuggling of contraband products.

Aremu argued that failure to revive the collapsed industries, especially the textile factories in the country, would impact negatively on the economy.

He added that the revival of the domestic textile industry would result in a significant fall in the number of unemployed in the country.

Mr Aremu said the collapse of textile factories across the country over the years had led to loss of jobs and revenue.

The textile workers also advised President Buhari to ensure the speedy completion of all existing road projects across the country before flagging off new ones.

Guest Speaker at the conference, Professor Kassali Bello, urged the Government to aid the revival of the textile industry by introducing new initiatives to improve the domestic content and manpower development to increase the appeal of finished goods and make them more acceptable in the highly competitive international market.

 

Kaduna Poly Lecturers Commence 3-Day Warning Strike

Kaduna PolyLecturers of Kaduna Polytechnic on Tuesday embarked on a three-day warning strike over the failure of the school management to yield to their demands.

Addressing journalists in Kaduna, Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Kaduna Poly chapter, Engr. Musa Ibrahim, said that the main reason for the three-day warning strike was the unjustifiable removal of their workload allowance by the management, as well as the poor state of infrastructure in the institution.

He further stated that there would be no lectures during the period of the strike, warning that the union shall resume an indefinite strike if at the end of the three days, the school management fails to restore their workload allowance and also address some other demands that are critical to their job.

The lecturers are also aggrieved over the delay in the full commencement of Kaduna Polytechnic and Yaba College of Technology Lagos as universities, nine years after the federal government announced their conversion into a University of Technology.

Reacting to the issues raised by the lecturers, the Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr Mohammed Ibrahim, described the allegation as untrue.

He explained that over N6 Million has been spent on the payment of the excess workload allowance to the lecturers despite inheriting over N1.5 billion debt when he came on board three years ago.

The Rector, while describing the strike by the lecturers as uncalled for, said that the management did not stop the payment of the excess workload allowance, but explained that what has delayed the payment of outstanding arrears is lack of funds.

He, however, appealed to the Kaduna Poly lecturers to suspend the strike, promising that their remaining allowances would be paid as soon as funds are available.