Nigerian lawmakers ask Jonathan to resolve ASUP strike

The union embarked on an industrial action in October 2013.

The House of Representatives on Thursday urged the Presidency to urgently resolve the protracted Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, strike.

The union embarked on an industrial action in October 2013 to press home their demands, including the formation of a commission to regulate the activities of polytechnics.

The call was sequel to a motion moved by Ibrahim Shehu-Gusau (PDP-Zamfara), which was adopted without debate.

According to Mr. Shehu-Gusau the lingering strike had affected more than 2 million Nigerian students of the institutions, who could not graduate.

He recalled that interventions, including that of the House’s Committee on Education, have been fruitless.

The lawmaker said that government had not helped matters by not releasing a white paper on the report of the Presidential Visitation Panel to the Polytechnics since 2012 when it was presented.

The Chairman of the Committee on Education, Aminu Suleiman (APC-Kano) described the on-going strike as “disturbing.”

He explained that his committee met with the feuding parties about three weeks ago to resolve the burning issues, with the Federal Ministry of Education promising to take the resolutions reached to the Federal Executive Council.

According to him, the major setback at the moment was a memo raised by the National Income, Salaries and Wages Commission to the effect that some earlier concessions made by the Education Ministry were not viable.

“We agreed that the unions should be part of the meeting, but only Wednesday when I spoke with the ASUP President that we are waiting for their report. He informed me that the ministry refused to make them part of the meeting. That as a ministerial committee, the unions had no legal standing to be members,” he informed his colleagues.

Mr. Suleiman said a meeting had already been summoned for Wednesday, where the union leaders and officials of the Federal Ministry of Education would meet to dialogue on the latest development.

(NAN)


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