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The Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) of the Polytechnic of Ibadan has commenced an industrial action over their eight months unpaid arrears by the Oyo State government.

The indefinite strike was declared after a congress of the union members which held on Tuesday at the Assembly Hall of the school.

The NASU Chairman, Yomi Akande, explained that the demands of the union border around the non-payment of the state workers’ arrears in the year 2017.

“They are owing us nothing less than eight months salary arrears” he said. “We are requesting that the arrears should be paid.”

“We are not going to call off the strike until they pay the arrears,” he said.

He also stated that the reduction in subventions given to tertiary institutions in Oyo State is also part of the union’s demand.

“We’ve been battling with the reduction since 2015.”

When asked the effect the industrial action would have on academic activities, he said the trend of events will determine it.

“For now, it may not affect the academic activities but the trend of events will determine what will happen because for now, we don’t have the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) with us.

“NASU is on strike presently. The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP) is yet to join. They met yesterday at the congress and what they agreed is that they are going to give the management until next week Thursday.

“The ultimatum we gave the government elapsed on July 7. We then gave them a benefit of doubt until yesterday and since we saw that they were not ready to yield to our demands, we decided to shut down the school starting from today.

“Our members are not going to work from today. Our services have been done since yesterday,” he said.

Some of the students of the school, who spoke with newsmen, confirmed the commencement of the industrial action though academic activities are still ongoing.

“They said it’s not going to affect academic activities but on the long run it will affect (it),” Tijani Abdulkabeer said.

“As it stands now, the school is scanty as many students didn’t attend lectures this morning and most offices are locked up.” He added

However, efforts to get the authorities of the institution to speak on the protest by NASU were unseccessful. The phone numbers of the school’s spokesperson was not available as at the time of filing this report.

When contacted, the state commissioner for education, Adeniyi Olowofela, through one of his aides, Idowu Ayodele, said the commissioner was not available as he was at a meeting on the same issue.

“The commissioner is in the best position to talk about that but he’s in a meeting on the same issue.What I know is that last week, the newly increased subvention has been paid.”

It was gathered that the school was shut down seven months ago over unpaid arrears as the workers, including members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic and Non-Academic Staff Union insisted that the gates of the institution would remain under lock and key until their demands were met by the Oyo State government.

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