Following threats by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics to embark on a fresh round of industrial action following the non-implementation of its demands, the Federal Government has set up a committee and opened fresh grounds for renegotiation with the union, The PUNCH has learnt.
Our correspondent gathered that the committee was expected to turn in its report in the first quarter of 2022.
The National President of ASUP, Dr Anderson Ezeibe, disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday.
The PUNCH reports that the members of the union had embarked on a 65-day strike that affected federal and state polytechnics in 2021 following the failure of the government to release the sum of N15bn for the revitalisation of the institutions and payment of the new salary scheme, among others.
The Federal Government had given approval for the release of the fund. However, seven months later, the money was not released and other agreements were not fulfilled.
The ASUP president told our correspondent that the union would have no choice but to go on strike because of the failure of the Federal Government to meet its demands.
However, in what seems to be a move to avert the crisis, the Federal Government set up a committee to look into the demands.
Ezeibe said, “A committee has been inaugurated to look into the previous agreement and what we are looking towards now is renegotiation. Some of the past agreements from way back were not honoured; so, they said they want to renegotiate and that is what will happen.
“A committee has also been set up to look into some of the outstanding demands, which include the issue of revitalisation fund and the issue of salary scheme for polytechnic lecturers; the committee is expected to turn in its report in the first quarter of 2022. We are hopeful, because we do not want a situation where we will be forced to embark on a strike.”