According to latest news reaching us today, which stats that the Federal Government had on Tuesday, agreed to pay N20.4 billion which was the arrears of new salary structure to the striking polytechnic lecturers, and this is what the Supervising Minister for Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, disclosed to Dailyschoolnews correspondent.
Chief Nyesom Wike, who made this known to the news men at a meeting with the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and the National Association of Polytechnic Students (NAPS) in Abuja, Nigeria.
The minister of education also disclosed to us that what was delaying the payment was an agreement by both parties on the modalities for the payment.
According to him, the CONTISS salary structure being agitated for by the union had been approved and also included in the 2014 budget.
The minister also went ahead and said that with the CONTISS issue, three out of four issues raised by the lecturers had been resolved and it’s just remaining one which he believed will be resolved within a short period of time.
Chief Nyesom Wike, who had however, said that the only outstanding issue was the release of the white paper on visitation panel to polytechnics, saying that that the Federal Government was working on that, and that most of the requirements have been meet.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) and the federal government met in 2013 at the commencement of the strike where ASUP tabled 13 demands to the Federal Government which the federal government promised to meet.
However both parties, who had agreed on tackling four issues which could be resolved in the short term.
These includes the following:
1. Setting up a Needs Assessment Committee for the polytechnics;
2. Implementation of the CONTISS salary structure;
3. Constitution of governing councils for the schools;
4. The release of the white paper.
The supervising minister of education also went forward to advised the striking lecturers to state the facts, especially when addressing the public as federal government was making concerted efforts to strengthen its educational system at all levels.
Chief Nyesom Wike also noted that the aim of Tuesday’s meeting was to identify grey areas that could be addressed for all to move forward.
SO therefore, do appealed to the union to call off the industrial action in the interest of the country and the future of the students.
Earlier, ASUP National President, Dr Chibuzo Asomugha, said the union was not on strike for its own selfish interest.
Asomugha said the lecturers were fighting to strengthen the polytechnics, improve on the quality of students and give them the place they deserved. (NAN)
We do hope that the 7 month old strike get called off and all polytechnics students go back to school.