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The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has warned that the refusal of the Federal Government to implement the reviewed salary structure for the polytechnic system is threatening industrial crisis in the sector.

ASUP also in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Itoro Ekanem, commended the Federal House of Representatives for the second reading of the proposed National Polytechnics Commission.

He said the good news of the passage of the proposed Bill on the Polytechnics Commission has assuaged the growing feeling of misery in the sector occasioned by the deplorable economic situation in the country and the refusal of the government to implement the reviewed salary structure, which took effect from January, 2023 amongst other challenges threatening industrial harmony in the sector.

He added: “Our union has been reliably informed that the Federal House of Representatives has passed the second reading of the Bill for an act to establish a dedicated commission for Polytechnics in Nigeria.

“The bill, which is sponsored by Hon. Idu Igariwey from Ebonyi state passed through the first reading in November, 2023 before its successful passage for the second reading at the floor of the House of Representatives today.”

The image maker of ASUP observed that the absence of a commission to concentrate on the regulation of polytechnics as one of the legs of the tertiary education tripod has for years been seen as one of the posters of discrimination against Nigeria’s endangered polytechnic system as the other tiers of tertiary education in the country have dedicated commissions in the National Universities Commission and National Commission for Colleges of Education for universities and colleges of education respectively.

“Without doubt, the subsisting regulators, the national board for technical education (NBTE) has put in commendable shifts in the direction of this mandate since 1977, but continues to be challenged by the sheer numbers of institutions in its portfolio of institutions with the inclusion of other sub tertiary and vocational training centres underits regulatory portfolio.

“The number of such institutions currently exceeds six hundred.

It is therefore commendable that the House of Representatives views this bill by Hon. Igariwey and his colleagues as progressive and in furtherance of the need to ensure equity and appropriate fulfilment of the establishment mandates of polytechnics in the country,” Ekanem noted.

According to him, the same need was recognised by the Federal Ministry of Education in this dispensation as captured in the approved ministerial roadmap for the education sector covering 2024 to 2027.

ASUP urged the Federal Ministry of Education to step up the execution of other defining aspects of the ministerial roadmap for the sector including the degree awarding status for polytechnics so as to save the sector from total collapse.

His words: “Our union therefore applauds this move by the Federal House of Representatives, which is in tandem with the Federal Ministry of Education’s plan for the sector and encourages stakeholders in the education sector to rally in support of the national assembly as they prepare for the remaining stages of this ground breaking piece of legislation due to its well documented benefits.”

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