Cross River: ASUP,SSANIP embark on indefinite strike…As Poly workers demand establishment of National Polytechnics Commission

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru

THE Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP has rejected the appointment of six Rectors of the Polytechnics by the Federal Government, saying five of the appointees were not qualified.

This is as Polytechnics workers in the country under the aegis Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics, SSANIP, have called on the Federal Government to begin plans for establishment of National Polytechnics Commission, NPC, just like the National Universities Commission, NUC, and that of the Colleges of Education.

Meanwhile, ASUP has said that there is nothing on the table from the federal government that will make it suspend the ongoing nationwide strike.

On the recent appointment of six Rectors by the Federal Government for six Polytechnics, ASUP through a letter dated April 9 and signed by its President, Anderson Ezeibe, alleged that the appointment was  in violation of provisions of the Federal Polytechnics (Amendment) Act, 2019.

Ezeibe noted that five out of the six new rectors were not qualified for the provisions, having fallen short of the requirements captured in Section 8, 2 (a) I of the Act.

The letter read in part, “Our Union’s attention has been drawn to a recent press statement from the Federal Ministry of Education announcing the appointment of Rectors and other principal officers for the 6 new Federal Polytechnics situated in Enugu, Oyo, Cross River, Plateau, Borno and Benue States.

“A rundown of the profiles of the beneficiaries of this latest act of impunity shows that 5 out of the 6 persons do not fit into the requirements of the law for appointment of Rectors in Federal Polytechnics in the Country. These beneficiaries include: the appointees for Federal Polytechnics Ohodo (Enugu), Ugep (Cross River), Shendam (Plateau), Monguno (Borno) and Wannune (Benue).

“It is regrettable that the government, through officials of the Federal Ministry of Education has become principal violators of the laws governing the operations of the Nigerian Polytechnics.

“This latest assault is despite the contents of a recent ruling of the National Industrial Court in Abuja, where the provisions of the Federal Polytechnics (Amendment) Act 2019 were affirmed by the court and the Federal Ministry of Education and her officials undertaking to observe the provisions in totality.”

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On the urgent need for the establishment of National Polytechnics Commission, NPC, the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics, SSANIP, noted with dismay that all the Tertiary Educational Institutions in Nigeria have Commissions except the Polytechnic sub-sector.

The workers, at their General Executive Council, GEC, meeting and special delegates conference in Abuja, weekend, said the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, as is presently constituted can no longer address the needs of the Polytechnics in view of the new developments as contained in the amended Polytechnic Act.

A communique issued at the end of the conference, jointly signed by SSANIP President and Acting Secretary, Philip Ogundipe and Comrade E. Emmanuel respectively, stressed that it was only NPC that can address the numerous challenges confronting the Polytechnics in the country.

The communique said, “The Council-in-session observed that all the Tertiary Educational Institutions in Nigeria have Commissions except the Polytechnic sub-sector.

“In the well-reasoned position of the Council, the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), as is presently constituted can no longer address the needs of the Polytechnics in view of the new developments as contained in the amended Polytechnic Act.

“Therefore, the Council-in-session wishes to request for the establishment of the National Polytechnics Commission to address the numerous challenges confronting the Polytechnics in the country,” the communique read.

On the ongoing strike, ASUP President told Vanguard that there was nothing on the table from government to make them call of the strike.

Comrade Ezeibe said that the Union was ready to interface with the government any time invitation was sent to them.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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