Nigeria – Over two million students of Nigerian polytechnics and allied institutions are now idle and frustrated due to the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP).
The ASUP strike which affects students in about 75 institutions of higher learning was embarked upon by ASUP on October 4, 2013.
President of ASUP, Dr Chibuzo Asomugha at a news conference in Kaduna accused the Federal Government of not showing concern over the consequences of the industrial action and said that the government has remained adamant to the demands of the union.
He blamed the Federal Government for failing to implement four out of eleven of the union’s demands which it had earlier agreed to.
“It is the position of our union therefore that the ongoing strike will be sustained until government addresses all the contending issues,” he said.
He said a total of 13 demands were presented to the government by the union in February, 2012, and that when government did not meet them, ASUP embarked on a strike action.
“Following intervention by well meaning Nigerians and the joint education committee of the National Assembly as well as a pledge by the government to attend to four out of the 13 issues, the strike was suspended on July 17 2013.
The four issues include the non-release of white paper on visitation to federal polytechnics, the refusal of government to fund the implementation of CONTISS 15 (Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure) migration for the lower cadres and arrears from 2009 and needs assessment. But till date, nothing has been done about the demands,” he said.
The polytechnic teachers insist that they would stay away from classes until Government addresses all contending issues and take appropriate steps towards repositioning polytechnic education in the country.
Polytechnic students across the country hoping to return to classes soon may have to spend more days at home until ASUP’s demands are met.