The National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) staged a protest on Thursday to demand an end to the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic Staff (ASUP).
Polytechnic lecturers have been on strike for two months over the federal government’s failure to meet some of their demands.
ASUP had called attention to the non-implementation of the 2014 NEEDS Report and non-release of revitalisation funds to the sector despite assurances since 2017.
According to NAN, the students barricaded the entrance of the federal ministry of education in Abuja with placards bearing several inscriptions.
They called on the federal government to intervene in the strike by addressing the demands of the lecturers.
Sunday Asuku, NAPS president, asked both parties to reach a decision or risk a national protest.
“We are here to demand immediate reopening of our tertiary institutions. ASUP has been on strike for two months now and nothing has been done about it,” he said.
“Government is not saying anything about this and we want them to reopen schools now or else we are not leaving.
“We have written to them but they have declined. The Federal Government workers are being paid their salaries and allowances likewise our lecturers, so who is going to pay the students for time wastage.
“ASUP demanded 15 items from FG but only got two which to us is not commendable. As a student body, we are interested in the government paying the lecturers their minimum wage which is accrued to two years.
“Other MDAs have received theirs since Nov. 2019, why holding our lecturers to ransom. If you can give them this, then we have the right to hold them accountable for not teaching.
“We want the government to call ASUP back to a round table and give them what belongs to them, else by Monday, we will grind the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.”
Addressing the students, Chukuemeka Nwajiuba, minister of state for education, noted that all that had to do with ASUP had been settled.
Nwajiuba pointed out that the onus now lies with the union to be fair on the students by calling off the strike.
“Every one of us is pained by what is going on in the polytechnic sector of our education, many of us spoke with ASUP at the time of their warning strike that we are not running an adhoc government,” the minister said.
“Nothing ends today, even if I die today, Nigeria will continue and there is nothing that will stop Nigeria.
“When ASUP wanted to start this strike, we wrote them and said everything that ASUP requested for has been agreed upon, we do not have one area of disagreement.
“On May 23, we communicated to ASUP and we have given them a catalogue of everything that they said we should do that we have complied with.”
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