Jonathan to Meet ASUP, COEASU Leaders Today:
President Jonathan will meet officials of ASUP, COEASU on Monday 31st March to finalise payment structure for the striking staff.
Meeting being facilitated by Supervising Minister of Education after COEASU and ASUP rejected the two installmental payment option.
In a move to finally resolve the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union and other allied unions, President Jonathan will on Monday begin direct intervention to settle grey areas, Scan News has learnt.
Sources at Presidency told Scan News that the Supervising Minister of Education had comprehensively briefed the President on the remaining area of dispute, which is the installmental payment of arrears of allowances amounting to over N40billion for all unions.
It was learnt that President Jonathan will by Monday alongside Presidential officials, the Supervising Minister of Education and officials of National Board
for Technical Education (NBTE) ,National Commission for Colleges of Education, (NCCE) and Federal Ministry of
Education to finally conclude plans on the payment of the said arrears.
ASUP and COEASU have insisted that the Federal Government pay the entire N40billion at once.
It was gathered that at the last meeting the Supervising Minister of Education in a bid to convince them, showed them the payment schedule for ASUU earned allowances which are being settled in installments, the first being N30billion. Incidentally, the universities have more staff and spread than the Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
Another meeting was later called with the governing councils in attendance, the same issue on the mode of payment dominated. The other key issues that have been resolved are those of the establishment of Needs Assessment Committees and the setting up of governing councils.
The office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation has concluded work on the White Paper for Visitation Panels.
The white paper will be released in the next few weeks, Scan News investigations further revealed that the disparity between university and Polytechnic graduates has been formally referred to the National Council on Establishment headed by the Head of Service of the Federation, the matter was discussed at the last council meeting in Ilorin, with the states and Federal Government kick-started the process to resolve the challenge.
For infrastructural development, it was gathered that President Jonathan stated that immediately the Needs Assessment reports are certified by the Federal Executive Council.
Scan News gathered that in the course of the last three years, Jonathan administration has invested over N150billion in Colleges of Education and Polytechnics through TETFUND high impact and normal interventions. The investments were targeted at workshops, classrooms, laboratories and training of lecturers.
Data obtained during the briefings by rectors and provosts of Polytechnics and Colleges announced that
infrastructural development in their schools far exceeded what was obtained decades ago.
Sources at the Presidency expressed worry that ASUP and COEASU have engaged in the same false propaganda laced with political undertones.
The shocker has been the amount so far expended by ASUP for television airtime on an opposition TV network in Lagos, the group, it noted have sponsored six live appearances and big stories to promote false propaganda, the same officials have sponsored 12 news conferences.
Few weeks ago, the National Universities Commission, took journalists on a tour of Ghanaian universities, the journalists discovered that ASUU misled them on claims about the nature of the universities.
It was discovered that Nigerian universities were by far better, but the instability created by ASUU made the schools unattractive to privileged Nigerians.
Another clear indication that ASUU misled Nigerians during the conflict is the over N12billion research grant ten Nigerian universities by World Bank, Out of 18 of such universities that received the grant under the African Centres of Excellence platform, ten are from Nigeria. (Scan News)