The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has said it will commence a nationwide indefinite strike beginning April 6, 2021, in all the nation’s polytechnics over unresolved issues between its members and the federal and some state governments.
The union also advocated the immediate reconstitution of governing councils for federal and state-owned polytechnics and full implementation of the provisions of the Federal Polytechnics Act as well as its domestication in Adamawa, Sokoto, Niger and other non-compliant states.
The ASUP President, Mr. Anderson Ezeibe, while reading the communiqué at the end of the National Executive Council meeting of the union held in Katsina, said the strike became necessary following the inability of the government to implement agreements reached with the union.
He listed the issues in contention to include failure to implement the 2014 NEEDS Assessment Report on government-owned polytechnics and the non-implementation of 65 years retirement age for academic staff in some state-owned polytechnics.
Other outstanding issues, according to Ezeibe, included the non-payment of promotion arrears in federal polytechnics and non-payment of annual increments in some states of the federation.
He said: “In view of the unresolved issues in our previous communications and after extensive deliberations, the union resolved to withdraw the services of its members across the nation in a comprehensive industrial action from the 6th of April, 2021.
“The industrial action is to draw the attention of the government on the need to release the 10 months arrears of the new minimum wage owed our members in federal polytechnics and the implementation of same in states yet to implement the new minimum wage.
“Release owned staff salaries in Abia, Ogun, Osun, Benue, Plateau, Edo and the Cross Rives States and implement full salary payments in Sokoto, Kaduna, Adamawa and other institutions with such reports.”
He urged the government to, as a matter of urgency, withdraw what he termed a letter containing spurious, incoherent and unsubstantiated claims of pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) tax liabilities in 19 federal polytechnics across the country.
Nigeria Plans To Release N30B Revitalisation Fund To Universities Next Week
The Federal Government plans to release N30 billion as revitalisation fund to universities next week, according to the Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige.
The minister said that the money was paid in January and remain in the custody of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) pending the conclusion of the audit report of the Implementation Committee on the use of previous funds disbursement to universities by the Ministry of Education and the National Universities Commission (NUC).
Ngige said that the monies will be paid to successful universities based on the evaluation report of the committee while those with shortcomings will be made to make up before accessing the fund.
The revitalisation fund is among seven key issues evaluated at a meeting with the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday.
A statement by the Deputy Director of Press and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan, said both parties at the meeting expressed satisfaction with the implementation stages of what Ngige termed “work in progress.”
The Minister said some of the items in the Memorandum of Action (MOA) were nearly done hundred percent within the timeline.
He explained the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) was directed to expedite action on the integrity test on the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) which if successful, will eliminate the challenges posed by the peculiarities of the university system to the current payment platform.
“The report has been turned in, deliberated upon and both the Education Ministry and the NUC have promised to write to the Accountant General of the Federation next week for the release of the money to the NEEDS Special Account for onward disbursement to universities shortly,” Ngige said.
He further disclosed apart from the N40 billion Earned Allowance which the Federal Government has already paid, the Budget Office of the Federation showed evidence that N22 billion Earned Allowances for the year 2021 is already captured in the 2021 supplementary budget of the federation, and will soon be accessed.
“On the proliferation of State universities, a bill has been sent to the National Assembly by the NUC to strengthen its arms in terms of delisting universities where funding and other parameters are inadequate.
“This effort was commended as all the parties agreed that mushrooming and proliferation of state universities, some of which mock the ideals of an ivory tower, should stop.
“The inconsistencies in the IPPIS payment were also discussed. There was good interaction and documents were exchanged between IPPIS and ASUU. ASUU is to go back to its members so that we can have a proper update on the extent of the inconsistencies in payment.
“We expressed our displeasure that these things are happening – amputation of salaries, not-too-clear, foggy things happening over peoples monthly emoluments. So we have asked IPPIS and ASUU to work together over this,” the Minister said.
He also said that evidence was presented to show that promotion arrears have been paid to some universities while the Budget Office of the Federation and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation was asked to liaise with ASUU to sort out the rest, noting that the standing committee on the matter has been expended to include National Income Salaries and Wages Commission.
“A situation where a university professor is paid N107, 000 out of mistake or over deduction is unacceptable,” Ngige declared.
JAMB Holds Mop-Up UTME for Candidates Who Missed Exams August 8
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has scheduled a mop-up Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) on Friday, August 6, 2021, for candidates who missed the examinations due to registration and verification difficulties, and clash of timetables, among others.
The board in a statement on Thursday disclosed that a total of 18,000 candidates are slated to write the examinations in some selected locations across the country.
JAMB said the decision to conduct the examination follows a detailed investigation and careful analysis of the 2021 UTME, and with due consultation with the National Examination Council (NECO) concerning the timetable of the council’s ongoing SSCE.
The rescheduled candidates are in the following categories:
Candidates who could not be initially scheduled for examination owing to their inability to timely procure and supply their mandatory NINs or profile codes until after the close of the registration exercise and, therefore, had to purchase Bank Drafts ( as against the usual vending of PINs) after the scheduled period for the examination and were later registered.
Few candidates who encountered peculiar biometric verification problems, or who failed biometric verification on the examination date ( and were recaptured) but were not allowed to partake in the examination.
The board said adequate screening arrangements have been made to reverify such claims and any candidate found to be involved in any form of impersonation will be identified for prosecution.
Candidates who were unable to sit for the UTME owing to the clash of timetables of the UTME and the then ongoing NABTEB examinations and whose particulars have been verified and supplied directly to JAMB by NABTEB, and
Candidates who have been ascertained by JAMB to have experienced genuine rescheduling/technical problems as was the case in 30 of the 760 centres used for the examination.
The rescheduled candidates have been directed to print fresh examination notification slips containing the venue and time of the examination from the JAMB website using the candidates’ registration number from Sunday, 1st August 2021.
“In addition, the candidate can check using their registration number here
“For the avoidance of doubt, no candidate whose result has been duly released will be rescheduled for another examination contrary to the sponsored fake news being circulated on the social (and few mischievous conventional) media”, the board stated.
The board further advised candidates to avoid supplying their vital information including registration numbers to fraudsters who abound especially in cybercafes (s), tutorial centres springing up almost everywhere in the nation as a result of the illicit activities of examination syndicates.
“CBT centres approved by JAMB which are consistently monitored are relatively more secure for printing examination notification slips by candidates who cannot print such on their own”, the board said.
President Buhari To Increase Education Budget By 50 Percent
President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to increase the budget for the education sector by as much as 50 percent over the next two years, according to a statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina on Wednesday.
Adesina quoted from a document titled, Heads Of State Call To Action On Education Financing Ahead Of The Global Education Summit, signed as a form of commitment at the ongoing Summit in London, United Kingdom.
“We commit to progressively increase our annual domestic education expenditure by 50 percent over the next two years and up to 100 percent by 2025 beyond the 20 percent global benchmark,” Adesina quoted the president as saying.
The president said; “We fully endorse the call for more efficient use of resources and to significantly increase investment in education by strengthening institutions, promoting greater adoption of technology, building the capacities of our teachers and mobilizing additional financial resources through legal frameworks and deliberate intervention on a sustainable basis.
“Let us, therefore, raise our hands in solidarity to build a more secure and prosperous future for our children.”
The Summit which is being co-hosted by the Prime Minister of UK Boris Johnson and the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta seeks to give opportunities for leaders to make 5-year pledges to support GPE’s work to help transform education systems in up to 90 countries and territories.
President Buhari left Nigeria on Tuesday to attend the summit and also meet with the Prime Minister of Britain, Johnson and thereafter meet with his doctor for a medical check-up, according to his spokesman.
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