The academic staff union of polytechnics (ASUP) has called on the Federal Government to implement the needs Assessment report of 2014 to enable federal polytechnics in the country to feel the impact of the assessment.
ASUP also declared that the ongoing strike action remains until the union’s demands are met by the Federal Government, saying the culture of neglect of the sector must be reversed in the interest of Nigerians.
Addressing newsmen at Federal Polytechnic Idah (FPI) on Wednesday, the chairman of ASUP , FPI branch, Comrade Egbunu Danladi explained that in 2014, the Federal Government set up a NEEDS Assessment team that went round federal tertiary institutions across the country with a view to addressing the high level of infrastructure decay in the institutions.
According to him, several years after the report was submitted to the Federal Government, no polytechnic in Nigeria has benefited from the report.
‘‘The report was submitted and it was only universities that felt the impact, we are appealing to the Federal Government to implement the NEEDS Assessment report so that polytechnics too can benefit from it,» he appealed.
The union also rejected in its entirety the plans by the Accountant General of the Federation to deduct over N19 billion on the pretext of recovering ‘Pay As You Earn’ tax liabilities from 19 polytechnics, describing the plans as dubious, painted in different colours of impunity to further pauperise the union members.
‘‘The claims are unverified, irreconcilable, offensive to extant laws and therefore unacceptable to our members who have diligently and over the years been bearing the brunt of unacceptable tax regime with little or no social benefits from political leadership in their respective states’’, he added.
The ASUP chairman who urged the Federal Government to release the 10 months in arrears of the new minimum wage owed members of the union in federal polytechnics, also called for the implementation of the same in the several states that are yet to implement the new minimum wage.
Aside from the issue of minimum wage, the government should release owed staff salaries in Abia, Ogun, Osun , Benue, Plateau, Edo and Cross River while full salary payment should be implemented in Sokoto, Kaduna, Adamawa and other institutions with such reports.
Promotion arrears in federal polytechnics should be released and payment of the same as well as annual increments in Adamawa, Plateau and other states with similar cases, he stated.
The union however called for the implementation of 65 years retirement age for academic staff in state-owned institutions such as Kano, Kaduna and other state institutions in the country.