The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has mediated a settlement in the industrial dispute between the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and management of Federal Polytechnic Bida, Niger State. The Executive Secretary of NBTE, Dr Masaudu Kazaure, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Kaduna that the resolution was achieved after several hours of discussions.
He said both parties have agreed to the terms of the resolution and the union is expected to call off its four-month-old strike. Kazaure said that the meeting was purposely to discuss and proffer solutions to the strike by ASUP.
“The meeting today is to address the issues and problems at the Federal Polytechnic Bida. We are also aware of the problems going on between the management of the polytechnic and the union in the school, which has left the school in national limelight. It was unfortunate and we felt the need to call the attention of the leaders and the council to discuss extensively; we did this last year but they didn’t heed to the advice we gave them. This time around, we have read the riot act and we have reached a resolution of which whoever breaches the resolution would be dealt with. We are not going to allow them to hold the institution to ransom. It is getting to about two years now, last time I called them was February last year, it was long they had the impasse, our next point of action is to make sure we implement the resolution and deal with anybody who breaches it,’’ Kazaure said.
The Rector of the polytechnic, Dr Abubakar Dzukogi, said the strike had crippled the educational progress of the students. “All the lingering issues have been thoroughly discussed by this peace move initiated by the executive secretary and we hope once the resolutions reached are implemented, it would enable permanent peace in our polytechnic. “The interest of the students, the system and the polytechnic is what should be paramount to us.
“The institution will be opened on or before Friday as directed by this peace committee,” Dzukogi said. The ASUP Chairman, Abubakar Dan-Asabe, expressed happiness that a resolution had finally been reached and normalcy would return to the polytechnic. He said that non-payment of the lecturers’ allowances for three years and other issues prompted the union to embark on the strike. “We all know that every academic session in any institutions, money is generated from IGR that should take care of these allowances. “The allowances moreover are meagre compared to the over N2 billion being generated by the polytechnic, the allowances in question is just about N100 million,” he said. “The academic staff who had discharged their duties are therefore expected to get their allowances. “For these three years of default of payments, the polytechnic had generated over six billion Naira,” Dan-Asabe added.
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