By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has asked the Federal Ministry of Education and the Nigeria Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to quickly facilitate the process of transmitting the Polytechnics Act Amendment Bill to President Muhammadu Buhari for his accent.
While expressing appreciation to the eighth National Assembly for passing the Amendment Bill of the Polytechnics Act, ASUP said the new Act will lead to improved productivity and best practices in the polytechnics and monotechnics.
In a communiqué issued at the end of the 94th National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union held at the Shehu Idris College of Health Sciences and Technology, Makarfi in Kaduna State, the union said it is worried about the rising incidence of banditry and kidnapping in the country, a situation that has made people prisoners in their homes.
The communiqué signed by ASUP’s National Publicity Secretary Chris Nkoro also condemned the pockets of violence in various parts of the country during the just concluded elections, describing it as an embarrassment.
“The NEC therefore calls on government at all levels to be more alive to their responsibility of safeguarding the lives and properties of Nigerians irrespective of social strata or creed.
“It noted the loss of lives of our members in Rivers State and harassments in Bauchi and Taraba States and called on federal government to avail itself of technological gadgets to track security challenges in the country,” it said.
The union said the meeting provided it the opportunity to access the journey so far after the suspension of the two-month industrial action embarked on by our union between December 2018 and February 2019.
ASUP also lamented that the persistent lethargic disposition of the federal government and its agencies towards re-negotiation of FGN/ASUP agreement is utterly disappointing to the 94th NEC which views this as a ploy to cripple the system and perpetuate the suffering on our members.
ASUP NEC said that it is not impressed that shortfalls and CONTISS 15 migration challenges have persisted, even with continued assurances by government that this situation has been dealt with by government.
The union therefore urged the federal government to without further delay, commence the renegotiation process.
Also of concern to ASUP is the condition of state polytechnics/monotechnics in terms of delay in payment of salaries, arrears of promotions, and other infractions.
According to the communiqué, ASUP expects that with the conclusion of the 2019 general election, the outstanding issues would be addressed squarely by government immediately.