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ASUP optimistic of resolving issues with FG in 2018

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The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) says it will intensify efforts to ensure that all lingering issues between the union and the Federal Government are resolved in 2018.

Mr Usman Dutse, ASUP National President, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos that the union would build on the successes recorded in 2017.

Dutse said the issue of the amendment of Polytechnic Act would be brought to the front burner, while the controversy over HND\B. Sc dichotomy would be resolved completely.

He said the ongoing negotiation between the union and the federal government would be completed as early as possible in 2018 for onward implementation.

“There are some major things on the front burner in 2017 and we have already reached an agreement and signed a Memorandum of Settlement and Action with the federal government.

“Some of the things agreed upon, I believe, will be implemented immediately after the festivities. We hope to build on all our achievements in the new year.

“Our grievances with government include non-implementation of the NEEDS assessment report, non-passage of the Polytechnics Act Amendment Bill, sorry state of state-owned institutions and shortfalls in personnel cost releases.

“Others are withdrawal of allowances, non release of CONTISS 15 migration arrears, infractions in the appointment of rectors, and continued victimisation of union officers,“ Dutse said.

On the 2018 budget, the union leader said the allocation to the education sector was grossly inadequate.

He urged government to consider implementing the 26 per cent UNESCO recommendation to improve the sector.

“Sincerely, we have said it severally that what the federal government is giving is grossly inadequate and will not bring the desired change.

“Already, there are complaints of underfunding and the amount allocated is always changing in spite of the increase in the total budget.

“We doubt the commitment of the federal government to improve education because we cannot do anything without funds.

“Education, especially technical and vocational education, is capital intensive but what they are allocating is always shrinking and inadequate,’’ he said.

Dutse added that the budget was not commensurate with the desired change required in the sector.

“Government should not expect any exceptional performance with the allocation; with the present economy situation, the budget is just a drop in the mighty ocean.

“Government should show more commitment; they should attach more priority to education and we will achieve the goal and the actual policy on education.

NAN