FG renegotiates 2010 agreements with ASUP, other unions

The Federal Government has begun the renegotiation of the agreements it entered into with the Academic Staff Union Polytechnics (ASUP) and other unions in the education sector in 2010, to address the lingering challenges in the sector and avert future strikes.

The government renegotiation committee met with the leadership of ASUP, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP), and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (NASUP) in Abuja on Wednesday.

Waziri Bulama, chairman of the committee, said the committee will review previous agreements and new demands submitted by the staff unions and arrive at workable terms that are acceptable to all parties.

“The committee has observed that most of the problems are similar and generic. It will look into these issues seriously with a view to finding solutions to the problems affecting the sector. The Federal Government is committed to addressing the concerns of the union in the polytechnic sector,” he said.

The chairman stressed that technical, vocational education and skills remain the panacea to the “economic stagnation that we have seen today”, adding that the concerns raised by the unions will be addressed as quickly as possible.

While noting that the government has failed in the agreements with the unions, the chairman, however, said this renegotiation will not end up like the others as the committee has resolved to put in place a framework for the implementation of all agreements reached.

Anderson Ezeibe, president, ASUP, said the demands of the union border on infrastructure development, review of laws and acts governing polytechnic education in Nigeria and regulation, the lingering dichotomy issue, conditions of service for teaching staff, and the overall need to reposition technological education for national development.

“The process started in 2017, irrespective of what has happened in the past, we hope and believe that this renegotiation will yield positive results,” he said.

The president also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to give assent to the abolition of the dichotomy bill recently passed by the National Assembly, explaining that it will help address most of the union concerns.

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