The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has warned of impending crisis in Nigerian polytechnics over failure by the Federal Government to abide by the agreement reached with the union.
ASUP’s President, Mr Usman Dutse, who briefed newsmen on Thursday in Abuja, said several attempts to discuss the issues with the present government failed.
According to him, issues between Federal Government and ASUP have lingered for years. He said that the union was aware that the present government came to power about one year ago, adding, however, that government was a continuum.
``Our expectation was that the re-constitution of the Federal Executive Council by Mr President will nip the issues in the bud, considering the quality of the appointees and the magnitude of the problems at hand.
``Our hope in this direction is gradually fading away as no concrete step has been taken to address the issues; our attempts to meet government officials and to explain the urgency of the demands have also failed.
``However, we are now being pushed to resort to extreme measures in resolving industrial dispute and we shall act accordingly. ```We have decided to place this position before government and the Nigerian public for the benefit of the sector and to challenge government to act now in order to avert another industrial disharmony in our polytechnics.’’
Dutse listed some of the issues that had lingered between ASUP and the Federal Government as delay in the passage of the Polytechnic Act and review of scheme of service.
Others are non-implementation of the report of needs assessment of public polytechnics; dichotomy between HND and degree holders, underfunding of the sector and lopsidedness in funds interventions by TETFund.
Also listed are non-implementation of Contiss 15 migration for the lower cadres, and other academic allowances and failure to release white paper of visitation panels to federal polytechnics
``The last signed agreement between the Federal Government and ASUP made adequate provisions for re-negotiation which had been due since 2012. ``Government has reneged on this provision and showed unwillingness to renegotiate a new agreement with the union.
``This attitude has further widened our gap of trust and entrenched mutual suspicion about government’s commitment to promoting technological development in the country,’’ he said.