‘ASUP’s Bulk Payment Demand Responsible for Lingering Strike’:
The Federal Government has said the refusal of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics to accept the payment of N40bn emolument in two installments was responsible for the lingering strike.
The Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, said this in Bauchi on Monday at the North-East stakeholders’ town hall meeting on Tertiary Education Trust Fund intervention.
“We met ASUP leadership in January and they presented their position that the Federal Government should pay N40bn to show that the government is committed to their plight.
“We agreed to pay N20bn in March and the remaining N20bn will be in October 2014.
“But they later came back and said they would not accept the installment payment unless government pays the N40bn at once.
“So, they went and said the government is doing nothing. If they had accepted our proposal by now, we would have paid the first installment.
“That is the stage where we are today and nobody will agree to tell you this truth.
“All that we hear is that the government is not interested in polytechnic education whereas the government is interested in seeing that the students are back in school.
“Of the five of the six demands that they presented, the Federal Government has implemented almost four or five,’’ Wike said.
The minister said the Federal Government had made more investment in the education sector than any other administration in the past.
Wike said it had released not less than N480bn to federal universities, polytechnics and colleges of education nationwide through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Prof. Mohammed Mohammed, thanked TETFUND for special interventions of N3bn provided for the university.
Mohammed said the money was expended on the building of a library complex, school of engineering, among others.
He also thanked the board of a trustees of TETFUND for the release of N400m being currently expended on the construction of the university’s medical college.