Abuja- Lecturers in Nigerian Polytechnics insist they will proceed with their indefinite strike until the federal and state governments meet their demands.
The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Chibuzor Asomugha, reiterated the union’s stand on the issue on Thursday, while briefing newsmen on the strike in Abuja.
He said the action had become inevitable because only one of its demands had been partially met.
The union, which issued a 21-day ultimatum on March 25, is asking the government to look into many of its demands.
The ultimatum expired on April 22, with the subsequent declaration of a one-week warning strike and an indefinite strike on April 29.
Among other things, the union is calling for the release of white paper on the visitation panel to federal polytechnics.
Mr. Asomugha said the polytechnic sector in the country’s educational system had groaned under a myriad of problems for long, adding that this had hampered the creation of “a viable platform for the sector to grow’’.
“We are faced with feeble and moribund infrastructure on our campuses, with no serious challenge to motivate research and learning. Government’s budgetary provisions for the polytechnic sector in Nigeria reflect a deep neglect of the sector.
“The indicators of this abysmal neglect are as strong as reflected in the 2012 budget. As I address you today, only one of our demands, that is, the constitution of Governing Councils has been partially met.
“There is no genuine effort towards addressing the rest, beyond bureaucratic rhetorics,’’ he said.
The lecturer said it had become very difficult for the union to appreciate government’s sincere commitment in handling the problems in spite of repeated notices and appeals.
He said government could have tackled the issues involved before “we embarked on indefinite strike’’.
“Within the period of the one-week warning strike and the period we declared the indefinite strike, government could have done something to save the situation,’’ he said.
The ASUP national president said the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) met on Thursday morning and resolved that the strike would go on.
“As a major stakeholder in the polytechnic sector, ASUP shall continue to play its role as vanguards for the survival of polytechnic education in the country.
“But in view of government’s failure to address all the issues listed in the union’s demands, the ongoing indefinite strike shall be sustained until they are addressed. All polytechnics shall remain closed, and no form of services shall be rendered by our members throughout the period of the strike,’’ he said.
The union declared the indefinite strike on Sunday, April 28 at the end of its seven-day warning strike.