The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Anderson Ezeibe, has said the union will continue its indefinite strike until the Federal Government meets its demands.
Ezeibe stated this during his visit to the Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State to observe the level of compliance with the strike by the union’s members.
ASUP had on April 6 embarked on a nationwide strike.
Among the demands of the union are the implementation of the ASUP/FG agreement of 2010, and the payment of salaries and arrears of the new minimum wage in some state-owned polytechnics.
Others are the implementation of the NEEDS Assessment Report of 2014 and reconstitution of governing councils of polytechnics.
“Our members should continue to believe in the union the way they have been doing, we have very supportive members as you can see; the strike is in full swing.
“Every polytechnic is observing the strike and compliance level is very high. We will continue to persevere; victory is around the corner,” Ezeibe said in a statement.
He expressed satisfaction that the strike had begun to yield some positive results.
He said, “The strike has yielded some positive responses from the Federal Government by appointing and inaugurating governing councils for polytechnics across the country, setting up visitation panels, reinstatement of some dismissed members, though the payment of N15bn for infrastructure in polytechnics and allowances, among others, are still pending.
“I must express concern over the appointment of unqualified rectors for polytechnics against the Federal Polytechnics Act. To be a rector, the person must be a chief lecturer for a minimum of five years in any of the polytechnics.”
Ezeibe denied that N20bn was collectively owed by 19 polytechnic staff members as tax liability.
According to him, such money has been deducted through the Pay As You Earn tax.
He said the union would resist any attempt to deduct the same from staff salaries.
Earlier, the Chairman of ASUP, Auchi Polytechnic chapter, Mr Lawani Jimoh, said the members were committed to continuing with the strike until there was a directive from the national body.
“We want to see the funds released for the sector and some other items that require processes to be put in motion,’’ he said.
“If we are able to get to that point, I am sure our national executive committee will take a second look at the strike,” he said.