The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has suspended its two-week warning strike and asked members of the union to resume duties next month.
This was contained in a statement issued on Saturday by the National Publicity Secretary of the union Abdullahi Yalwa.
“The two weeks definite strike of the Union will be rounding off on the 29th of May, 2022 as agreed by the emergency meeting of NEC.
“Consequently, the Union is requesting members to resume duties effective 30th of May, 2022 while hoping that government will take advantage of the window to address the 5 outstanding items,” he said in the statement.
“Further directives/ updates shall be released after the 103rd meeting of NEC which is scheduled to hold in the month of June 2022 during which the situation shall be reviewed.”
The union said the move followed “the significant inroads were made in four (4) of the items in our list of demands” which include payment of areas of the new minimum wage among others.
However, ASUP said there are four more outstanding issues yet to be addressed by the government. This includes the release of the approved N15Bn revitalization fund for the sector.
“This issue is still stuck in the Federal Ministry of Finance with a promise of follow-up action by the Education Ministry,” the statement added.
Others, the union’s statement noted, are the release of arrears of CONTISS 15 migration for the lower cadre; the release of the Scheme of Service and Conditions of Service; continued delay in the appointment of substantive Rectors for Federal Polytechnics in Mubi, Offa, and Kaduna, and the resolution of issues with members in Colleges of Agriculture.
Another setback looms in the nation’s education sector as members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) prepare to embark on a warning strike.
ASUP President, Anderson Ezeibe, made the announcement on Wednesday, two days after the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) extended its ongoing strike which began in mid-February by another 12 weeks.
He stated that the polytechnic lecturers would withdraw their services in a two-week industrial action with effect from Monday next week.
Ezeibe explained that the decision was reached at the emergency meeting of the union’s National Executive Council to review the response of the Federal Government to its ultimatum.
He added that ASUP had suspended its initial strike in June 2021 following the signing of a Memorandum of Action (MoA) with the government which contained a clear path to a sustainable resolution of the issues in dispute with timelines attached to each of them.
The ASUP president said while the suspension of the industrial action was for a period of three months, the government refused to address the issues raised.
As a result, he stated, the union issues an ultimatum which expired on May 4, but the situation has remained the same with no concrete effort on the government’s part.
Ezeibe stressed that the warning strike was to appeal to Nigerians to prevail on the government to do the needful within the two weeks so as to avoid an indefinite shut down of the sector.
Read the full statement below:
ACADEMIC STAFF UNION OF POLYTECHNICS (ASUP)
11th May 2022
STATUS UPDATE OF THE ASUP/ FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA ENGAGEMENT; AND RESOLUTIONS OF THE EMERGENCY NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (NEC) MEETING OF ASUP HELD ON THE 11th OF MAY, 2022
Esteemed members of the press,
Our Union suspended its industrial action declared on the 6th of April 2021 on the 10th of June 2021 following the signing of a Memorandum of Action (MoA) with the government. The signed MoA contained a clear path to a sustainable resolution of the issues in dispute with timelines attached to each of the items in dispute.
The suspension of the industrial action was for a period of three months to enable the government conclude processes already initiated in the direction of fulfilment of the items in the MoA which are process-led.
Nine months after the suspension of the industrial action and six months after the expiration of the three-month period of suspension, our Union’s NEC met in its 102nd meeting in Federal Polytechnic Mubi and after reviewing the report of the implementation of the MoA, resolved to issue a 1-month ultimatum to the government effective 4th April 2022 to address the outstanding items in the MoA and other emergent issues or face the reality of another trade dispute with our Union.
Our Union’s ultimatum expired on the 4th of May, 2022 and as is the norm, the Union’s NEC reconvened today, 11th of May, 2022 to review the response of the government to the ultimatum, particularly as it affects relevant agencies/functionaries of government.
Within the period of the ultimatum, the Union met with the National Board for Technical Education to review the grievances with a view to resolution. Another meeting fixed at the instance of the Honorable Minister of Education (after the expiration of the ultimatum) failed to meet basic requirements for collective bargaining. Our Union stayed away from the meeting as it was not structured to address the issues in dispute. The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment only acknowledged receipt of the union’s ultimatum and made no attempts at conciliation.
Spirited efforts were also made by the Chairman of Chairmen of Governing Councils of Polytechnics in Nigeria and some members of the National Assembly in the direction of a resolution.
The status of the items in dispute as of today is captured below:
1 Non-release of the approved revitalization fund for the sector: Approved N15bn yet to be released 11 months after approval by the President.
2 Non-release of arrears of the new minimum wage: The owed 10 months arrears for the Polytechnics is yet to be released. The composite amount covering all Federal Tertiary Institutions to the approximate figure of N19Bn currently exists as an AIE in the Accountant Generals Office.
3 Non-release of the reviewed normative instruments for institution/management and programs accreditation: The document is currently awaiting approval from the Management of NBTE. This document is expected to provide a framework to address non-payment of salaries in state-owned institutions, non-compliance with approved retirement age, non-deployment of approved salary structures, poor governance structure as well as other issues affecting standards, particularly in state-owned Polytechnics. As a consequence, our members in Abia, Ogun, Edo, Benue, Bayelsa, Bauchi, Plateau, and Osun states are owed salaries while they also continue to suffer from different levels of deprivation including non-release of promotions and non-deployment of appropriate retirement age. Such deprivations are also evident in Adamawa, Niger, Sokoto, and Delta States where the government has resolved to disrupt the hitherto timely payment of salaries with a subvention-styled funding regime.
4 Sustained infractions in implementation of the provisions of the Federal Polytechnics Act as amended in 2019: This issue is currently typified by the arbitrary removal of deputy rectors in Auchi Polytechnic, and the existence of multiple templates for the appointment of principal officers with provisions at variance with the provisions of the Act.
5 Delay in the appointment of rectors: The appointment process in Kaduna Polytechnic, Federal Polytechnic Mubi, Federal Polytechnic Offa, and Federal Polytechnic Ekowe continues to linger.
6 Non Release of Arrears of CONTISS 15 Migration for the Lower Cadre: This issue remains at the committee level and even in chapters like NILEST, Zaria implementation is yet to commence.
7 Non-release of the scheme of service for Polytechnics: Since 2017, the sector has been struggling with a review process for the scheme of service and conditions of service in use in the sector.
8 Continued Victimisation of Union Officers: Our officials in IMT Enugu and Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo still remain out of job.
9 Continued Arm twisting of Members in Colleges of Agriculture By the ARCN: This has continued as our members in these institutions continue to experience intimidation.
Following exhaustive deliberations, on the update as outlined above, the emergency meeting of the Union’s National Executive Council has resolved that members should withdraw their services in a 2 weeks industrial action with effect from Monday, 16th of May 2022.
We are deploying this medium to equally appeal to members of the public to prevail on the government to do the needful within the 2 weeks period so as to avoid an indefinite shut down of the sector.
A 26-year-old Computer Science student of the Taraba State Polytechnic has been found dead in a swimming pool.
Identified as Clara Jacob, the lifeless body of the final year student was discovered at the Suite 11 Hotel swimming pool in Jalingo, Taraba State on Saturday.
The elder brother to the deceased, Jacob Joseph, who confirmed the incident to Channels Television, said the body has been taken to the Federal Medical Center, Jalingo and deposited at the Morgue.
“I am shocked beyond words to know that my own sister is no more.
“More surprising to me is that I heard she was nowhere to be found and the pool manager said he does not know how to swim not to talk more of searching for her at the deep side of the pool,” Joseph said.
Eyewitnesses at the scene say she was swimming alongside some friends when she suddenly went missing.
Governor of Borno of State Professor Babagana Zulum has suspended the entire management of the state-owned Ramat Polytechnic in Maiduguri, for a period of six months.
The suspension came after the governor, who was a student of the Polytechnic between 1986 to 1988, unexpectedly visited the Polytechnic around 9:00 am on Tuesday and found most of the laboratories out of use, with some covered in cobwebs and rodents roaming around due to neglect.
After assessing all the infrastructure and learning conditions, he directed the state’s Commissioner of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Babagana Mallumbe, to take over the affairs of the school immediately.
“As far as I am concerned, this Polytechnic is dead. Nothing is working,” he said.
“The workshops are not in existence, the mechanical workshop is not working, the agricultural workshop is not working, likewise, the entrepreneurship centre is not working. The school is facing myriads of problems, ranging from lack of funding and commitment. As a former student of this polytechnic, a former rector, I have moral stakes in this polytechnic. Insha’Allah, I will not allow this polytechnic to rot during my era as Governor of Borno State. I will do everything possible within my reach to ensure functionality of this institution Insha Allah.
“I have directed the Commissioner of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation to take over the affairs for the next six months. The ministry is to ensure that all the workshops and the laboratories are put back to use as soon as possible. The entrepreneurship centre should immediately be put back to use as well. When I was at the Polytechnic as a rector, the entrepreneurship centre was producing nothing less than 10,000 to 20,000 school desks and chairs every month. We produced hospital beddings,” Zulum said.
Thereafter, he held a closed-door meeting with the management of the Polytechnic.
He also directed the Ministry of Water Resources to drill two deep aquifers boreholes and carry out a complete water channel network within the polytechnic, which is coming after prior interventions he approved for Polytechnic in 2019, to reduce problems of water supply.
After the meeting, Governor Zulum, while addressing thousands of students at the premises of the polytechnic, assured them that payment of scholarships will commence soon.
“The verification exercise has just been completed, I want to assure you that as soon as the detailed report is forwarded to me, we will pay your scholarship immediately,” he said.
The Governor was also at the Federal Secretariat, where enrollment exercises of Batch C N-Power volunteers were being conducted.
On arrival, he addressed thousands of applicants gathered for the biometric enrollment that will enable them to get monthly stipends from the Federal Government.
He assured them of the state government’s support despite N-Power being a Federal Government programme.
The management of the Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja has expelled four students over issues bordering on examination misconduct and other social vices.
The Rector of the polytechnic, Dr Salisu Usman, announced this on Thursday in Lokoja, the state capital.
He noted that the decision was taken at the meeting of the institution’s Board which held on Thursday last week at the main campus of the school.
The students expelled for examination malpractice were Aliu Abdulrahman – a National Diploma (ND) I student of Science and Laboratory Technology (2019/ND/SLT/216), Shaibu Danjuma – a Higher National Diploma (HND) I student of Graphic Department (2018/HND/IDD/011), and Hadiza Abubakar – an HND II student of Computer Science Department (2018/HND/CPS/183).
Similarly, Abudulmalik Wahab of the Mechanical Engineering Department (2018/ND/ME/043) was also expelled for offences related to cultism.
Wahab, whose expulsion had a clause of never to be offered admission into the institution, was said to be in possession of a dangerous weapon with evidence of his involvement in cultism.
On the other hand, Durojaiye Taiye – an HND II student of the Industrial Design department – (2018/HND/IDD/007), was found with materials inscribed on her palms but not related to the particular examination, and was rusticated for one semester.
The Rector, who commended the Committees on Examination Misconduct for a thorough job done, said the polytechnic would not condone any act capable of bringing it to disrepute.
He appealed to students to always be on the side of the law, saying the Board was satisfied with the successful completion of the Computer-Based Examinations for General Studies Courses.
Usman stated that the postponement of the Students Union Government (SUG) elections, Students’ Week, and other activities, was part of plans to ensure adequate security of lives and properties on campus.
He said the school’s management remained committed to making the polytechnic the best among the comity of higher institutions of learning.
At the meeting chaired by the rector, the Board also approved the results of the first-semester examination for the 2019/2020 academic session.
Those present were the Deputy Rector, Dr Kehinde Lamidi; Acting Registrar, Zubair Raji; and Acting Librarian, O. M. Audu, among others.
Usman explained that the planned industrial action followed the failure of the Federal Government to implement all the agreements it entered with the union since 2016.
He alleged that despite the 21-day ultimatum issued by ASUP to the government to address some of the issues it had raised over time, the government has been nonchalant in addressing the demands for improved funding of polytechnic education in the country.
The ASUP treasurer noted that the union had given government sufficient time to implement all agreements, stressing that they have no choice than to embark on an indefinite strike.
According to him, this is coming on the heels of the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum issued after the union’s NEC meeting which held on October 2.
Some of the demands, Usman said, include non-implementation of the NEEDS Assessment Report and shortfalls in personnel releases, as well as the withdrawal of allowances and persistent shortfalls in personnel releases to polytechnics.
The other issues are the sacking of union leaders and delay in assenting to the amendment of the Polytechnic Act, among other demands.
The union has directed all its members across the country to proceed on an indefinite strike starting from 12:00am on Wednesday next week.
The students of the Ondo State owned Rufus Giwa Polytechnic Owo, have protested against the decision of the management of the school to prevent students who are yet to pay their schools fees from writing examinations.
The protesting students were said to have destroyed some property of the school including computers and vehicles.
The students are supposed to commence the second semester examination for the 2016/2017 session today.
A final year (HND2) student of the polytechnic who spoke on phone with our correspondent expressed sadness about the action of the protesting students.
He lamented that he ought to have written his final examination since September last year and again, this protest will cause further delay for him.
The management however brought in some policemen to quell the protest and arrested some of the students that took part in destroying the school’s property.
Speaking to Channels Television on the protest, the Public Relations Officer of the polytechnic, Samuel Ojo, disclosed that the students destroyed several schools’ property and carted away with some, during the protest.
He added that the polytechnic has been shot down indefinitely by the management and directed all students to vacate the campus immediately.
The Federal Government has approved the establishment of a federal polytechnic in Akwa Ibom State.
Delivering the letter to that effect, the Minister of Education, Nyisom Wike, stated that the Federal Government’s approval for the establishment of the institution was in recognition of the Governor Godswill Akpabio-led administration’s commitment to the development of education and infrastructure in the state.
Governor Akpabio, while thanking the Federal Government, announced that the institution would begin operations by September at the Independence High School.
He also stated that temporal site would be at Ukana in Essien Udim Local Government Area and noted that the Federal Government had already approved the sum of N1 billion as take-off fund for the project.
While announcing the appointment of Professor Oluma Joseph as the Rector of the new polytechnic, the Governor stated that, the State Government would begin the rehabilitation of existing infrastructure at Independent High School, Ukana as its contribution to the project.