The striking Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has faulted the Federal Government over the appointment of rectors and principal officers for the six newly established polytechnics in the country.
The union has also demanded an immediate withdrawal of the appointment of the Rectors by the Federal government.
ASUP in a statement it issued on Sunday, signed by its President, Anderson Ezeibe said the appointment of the rectors violates provisions of the Federal Polytechnics (Amendment) Act, 2019, as captured in Section 8, 2 (a).
The 6 new Federal Polytechnics according to the statement are Federal Polytechnics Ohodo (Enugu), Ugep (Cross River), Shendam (Plateau), Monguno (Borno), and Wannune (Benue).
ASUP said a rundown of the profiles of the beneficiaries shows that 5 out of the 6 persons do not fit into the requirements of the law for the appointment of Rectors in Federal Polytechnics in the country.
“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 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 was affirmed by the court and the Federal Ministry of Education and her officials undertaking to observe the provisions in totality,” ASUP said.
Citing the judgment of a court in NICN/ABJ/12/2020 involving ASUP and the Attorney General of the Federation, Minister for Education, and 5 others in a similar issue, the union said it had drawn the attention of the Federal Ministry of Education on the need to adhere to the provisions of the law in the appointment process more than 1 month before the announcement of the appointment.
ASUP also threatened to escalate its current industrial action as a result of the action of the federal government.
According to ASUP, “This unfortunate development however underlines the essence of our union’s current engagement with the government as we are determined to reverse this ugly trend of administering Nigerian Polytechnics outside extant laws and regulations. With this latest development, the Nigerian public should hold the government responsible for any escalation of our union’s current industrial action towards a protracted crisis.”
ASUP declared a nationwide strike on the 6th of April, 2021 over the non-implementation of the new salary scheme for polytechnic lecturers, nonpayment of salaries by some state governments to polytechnic staff, alleged wrongful termination of the appointment of some of its members among other issues.