Offa Polytechnic shut as ASUP continues strike

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The Federal Polytechnic Offa in Kwara State has been shut after its lecturers joined the nationwide strike of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP).

Lecturers in polytechnics and monotechnics across Nigeria began the indefinite strike on Tuesday after a meeting with the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, failed to address their grievances.

They had given the government until March last year to meet their demands but shelved their threat of strike due to COVID-19.

The government failed to implement the needs assessment report of public polytechnics and colleges of education which the government carried out in 2014, the union’s national president, Anderson Ezeibe, said.

Speaking with journalists, the chair of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa chapter of ASUP, Waheed Balogun, said the institution’s lecturers will fully comply with the strike declared by the national body of ASUP.

“Federal Polytechnic, Offa is in total compliance with the directive of the national body of ASUP to embark on industrial action to back up our demands.

“We have given the federal government a one-year ultimatum since March 2020 to attend to our demands which include payment of 10 months arrears of minimum wage, non-payment of promotion arrears, non-implementation of the 2014 needs report and non-release of revitalization fund to the polytechnics despite assurances since 2017.

“Other demands we made are non-reconstitution of governing councils in Federal Polytechnics and many state-owned Institutions. This has affected the appointment of Rectors and other Principal staff of the Polytechnics. For instance, Federal Polytechnic, Mubi and Bida are still having Acting Rector which does not exist in the Act of the Federal Polytechnics in the country.

“The non-reconstitution of the Governing Councils by the Federal government has also affected the promotion of staff and has also undermined the renegotiation of the union’s 2010 agreement with the government which was unilaterally suspended by government for over two years now,” Balogun said.

“The strike is total and there is no going back. We have just started a new session at the Federal Polytechnic Offa, from now henceforth, all academic activities have been suspended; there will be no lecture, no examination and marking of scripts will not be entertained by our members,” he said.

Apart from the lecturers, resident doctors and judiciary workers are also on strike across the country.

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