By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA – IN a bid aimed at forestalling strike action being threatened by the nation’s polytechnics and colleges of education, the federal government has inaugurated two committees to renegotiate the 2010 agreements reached with leadership of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP and the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU.
This came as the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who inaugurated the committee, explained that some unforseen circumstances caused the non implementation of the agreements.
A statement from the ministry, through Chinyere Ihuoma, the minister picked the Chairman of the Governing Council, Federal Polytechnic, Damaturu, Mohammed Abubakar, as chairman of the 14-member renegotiation team with the polytechnic teachers.
Similarly, the Chairman of Governing Council, Federal College of Education, Obudu, Obi Anthony, leads the team to dialogue with unions in Colleges of education.
The staff unions are Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, COEASU, and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP.
According to the statement, Adamu at the inaugural ceremony, explained that barely two years into the life of the present administration, President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the reconstitution of the government teams and the commencement of renegotiation with the unions.
To this end, he enjoined members to study the agreements entered into with all the unions and engage them with a view to reaching a workable and sustainable agreement.
Hear him:“As members of the government teams, you are expected to play your role with skill and efficiency to come up with agreements that will help in stimulating rapid growth of the colleges of education and the polytechnics and make them more competitive and attractive.”
The statement said each team comprises 14 members made up of relevant stakeholders, including representatives of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, representatives of Federal Ministry of Labour & Employment, and representatives of Ministry of Finance.
General Secretary of the ASUP, Anderson Ezeibe, speaking at the event, said his union was in firm solidarity with the ongoing strike Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, charging government to begin faithful implementation of agreements entered into with his union to avert similar action by the nation’s polytechnic teachers.