A nationwide strike in all Polytechnics in the country looks imminent as the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has threatened to embark on an indefinite nationwide strike action if their demands are not met in three weeks.
Speaking to journalists at the end of the 83rd quarterly meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the union in Lafia, Nasarawa state, the President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) Comrade Usman Yusuf Dutse stated that the Union will take strike action if the Federal Government does not give into their demands before the stipulated three weeks ultimatum which they are giving. Comrade Dutse stated that the Union wants the Federal Government to seek solution to inadequate infrastructure and inadequate funding problems which many polytechnics face across the country. He also made it clear that the union is of the opinion that there is need for the review of Polytechnics Acts which are outdated.
The ASUP chairman also asked the government to address and tackle the issue of university/polytechnic dichotomy, saying bachelors degree and Higher National Degree (HND) holders should be treated equally in terms of promotion and considerations for appointments in the civil service. He further stated that the newly introduced Treasury Single Account (TSA) by the Federal government should not include tertiary institutions due to their peculiar nature, hence the need for all polytechnics to be exempted from the scheme.
“We cannot efficiently operate with the TSA platform because it is cumbersome, so it is not good for tertiary institutions” he said. Other demands of the union include implementation and payment of salary arrears of 2012 consolidated tertiary institutions salary structure (CONTISS). Also, 2010 CONTISS agreement with the federal government which was not captured in the 2016 budget as the committee set up to review it in 2014 was yet to submit its report.