… Threatens To Embark On Nation Wide Industrial Action
In a bid to avert a planned nationwide strike, the Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba has met with the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) which had issued a 15-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to meet some of it’s demands few years ago.
The meeting which was held Tuesday in Abuja bothered on non-implementation of the Polytechnics NEEDS assessment, shoddy implementation of the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System IPPIS, non remittance of check-off dues, delays in paying the recently assented National Minimum Wage among other grievances.
The ASUP President, Anderson Ezeibe, explained to the Minister of State, Nwajiuba that polytechnics in the country were not ready to resume normal academic activities as most of the protocols outlined by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 were not in place.
He said beyond the sentiments of announcing that all institutions resume, the Polytechnics lacked support to enforce resumption protocols.
On the IPPIS, Ezeibe expressed regrets that they had to enrolled for the IPPIS, noting that the policy had been characterized with omission of bonafide staff names, non-remittance of check off dues, including closing the windows to effect corrections where necessary.
Lamenting that till date nothing has been done regarding the NEEDS Assessment carried out in all public Polytechnics.
Also tabled before the Minister was non sitting of the re-negotiation committee, stagnation of CONTISS migration parley, and a new trend of imposing a non administrative staff to serve as Rector of Federal Polytechnic, Bida, Niger State.
“Recall that we had issued 15days ultimatum and some pertinent demands before the Covid19 outbreak, being Nigerians, we had to encourage our members to endure, be that as it may, with the gradual reopening of economic activities, it is pertinent we bring up these issues again.
“This meeting is timely because at the moment all our members have been holding their congresses to embark on strike from next week.
“Our demands ranges from non implementation of the Polytechnics NEED Assessment since 2014, no single Polytechnic has benefitted from these exercise, we feel the aim of embarking on the exercise will be defeated if non of our institutions benefit from it.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the new minimum wage into law but some Polytechnics are owed 10 months arrears, there are no indications that it will be released soon. Only Kano and Jigawa States are implementing, about 34 states are sitting on the fence doing nothing about it.
“Regarding IPPIS, our members enrolled in November 2019, as we speak we have lots of omission, non remittance of check off dues and the office of the Accountant General of the Federation closed the window for correction on salaries and other entitlements,”Ezeibe lamented.
Responding, the Minister of state education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba said their demands would be critically looked into in a bid to finding lasting solution to the challenges confronting the polytechnic sub- sector.