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50-day Strike: FG killing polytechnic education in Nigeria – ASUP

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By Lawrence Nwimo

The national leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), on Tuesday, accused the federal and state governments of undermining polytechnic education in Nigeria by deliberately designing and implementing bad policies in their institutions.

The national president of ASUP, Comrade Anderson Ezeibe, flanked by Federal Polytechnic Oko branch chairman of ASUP, Comrade Onyebuchi Igbokwe and other national and Oko ASUP branch leaders, stated this at a press briefing held at Federal Polytechnic, Oko in Anambra state. 

Comrade Ezeibe said that the government established polytechnics mainly to satisfy its political desires.

“The Nigerian state has consciously, over the years, decided to abdicate from its responsibilities towards developing skill-based education. And this is contrary to the provisions in the nation’s policy on education, adopted since 1977, which recognised the place of technical and vocational education in the development of this nation.

“And as a matter of fact, it is not as if the Nigerian state has decided to do away with this sector. It is not as if the Nigerian state is not seeing the fact that this sector has a very vital role to play to the development of this nation.

“This is because if that is the case, the establishment of new polytechnics and colleges of technology in this nation will not be taking place. Of course, like you know, 36 new federal polytechnics were established in the recent past in addition to the two established about three years ago.

“And different state governments are still establishing new polytechnics. So, what it means is that we are led, as a matter of fact, to believe that by the stands of the government, that these institutions are being established to satisfy political convenience. And this is not good enough,” he lamented.

Ezeibe noted that the association, for now, was asking for only N19 billion out of a total N823 billion that federal government earlier agreed with the union to inject into the polytechnics education nationwide since 2018.

He reminded that the 19 billion naira comprised of 15 billion revitalisation fund and 4 billion to offset their accumulated arrears on minimum wage.

The ASUP president said “On the 27th of April, we entered into a resolution with the federal government, and there is a stance in the resolution that demanded immediate implementation. For instance, the government had made an offer to release 15 billion Naira as infrastructure revitalisation fund for the sector in lieu of the implementation of needs assessment survey’.

“Our members across all the Federal Polytechnics are owned for ten months with respect to arrears. The government accepted this particular responsibility and also entered into a resolution with us that they going to ensure immediate release of this fund, which amounted to 4 billion Naira but up till now they have not made an effort’, he narrated.

The ongoing strike, Orient Daily gathered, had lasted for 50 days, according to the national president. It would be ascribed to poor funding, lack of supervision and improper regulation.

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