Until you release N19bn, we won’t call off strike, ASUP tells FG

The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics(ASUP) has vowed to sustain its ongoing nationwide strike till the Federal Government do the needful.

The needful, according to the union, is when the Federal Government effects the release of the N15 billion revitalisation fund, in monetary terms (and not a mere paper statement), to the nation’s public polytechnics and another N4 billion to pay the backlog of the new minimum wage arrears, its members are being owed.

The National President of ASUP, Dr Anderson Ezeibe, gave this hint in an exclusive interview with Tribune Online over the weekend.

He said ASUP as an association and its members would not allow to being tricked by the federal government into making it rely on what he called “mere paper promise,” and on that calls off strike.

He said that if the Federal Government is honest and sincere with ASUP, it would have, before or on Friday latest, paid the stated amount of money as promised since Tuesday.

He explained that ASUP leadership and government representatives met, on Tuesday and concluded on certain offers that would be carried out immediately by the government.

He said the belief was that before government agents could come to the roundtable and give the position, the money to back up, the position ought to have been on the ground and disbursed without any delay.

“But from Tuesday up to Friday at a close of work, the government has not paid any money,” he noted.

“So, we must see that government has truly (and not by mouth) injected the N15 billion as the revitalisation fund and our members have also started receiving alerts in their bank accounts as regards their unpaid minimum wage arrears.

“Until these are done and the anomalies in the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System(IPPIS) are also addressed, we will continue with our industrial action.”

Mr Ezeibe, however, pleaded with the students, parents and the public for the understanding of the ASUP course, saying the one month strike is towards the development of polytechnic education and the country’s economy.

By Thursday, the strike, if yet to be called off, would be a month old.

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