ASUP prolonging strike by refusing N40bn instalments – Minister
Supervising Minister of Education, Chief Nyesom Wike, says the rejection to pay by two instalments, the N40 billion emolument to the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) is prolonging the current strike by the union.
Wike said yesterday at the North-east stakeholders town hall meeting on TETFUND intervention held at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi that polytechnic students are still at home because ASUP rejected the option to pay the money in two instalments between March and October 2015.
“We met ASUP leadership in January and they presented their position that the federal government should pay N40 billion to show that government is committed to their plight, we agreed to pay N20 billion in March and the remaining N20 billion in October but they later came back to say they would not accept payment by instalment but in full.
“So don’t say that government is not doing anything, if they had accepted, by now we would have paid the first instalment and October is almost here, that is the stage we are today and nobody will agree to tell you this truth, all we hear is that government is not interested in polytechnic education, which government is not interested to see that students are back in school? Out of the six demands they presented, government has implemented almost four or five”, the minister said.
He explained that the federal government has made huge investments in the education sector, more than any other administration in the past, adding that this includes investment in basic education which is not the responsibility of the federal government but that of state governments, in all a bid to promote education in the country.
Chief Wike said not less than N480 billion has so far been released to federal universities, polytechnics and Colleges of Education across the country by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund for various forms of interventions including research, infrastructure development and training among others, urging heads of the educational institutions to access the funds.
Vice Chancellor of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Professor Mohammed Hamisu Mohammed, thanked TETFUND for the special intervention of N3 billion given to the university which was invested in the library complex and school of engineering among others.
He also thanked the board of trustees of the fund for releasing the N400m being used to build the medical college in the university. Chairman of the Board of Trustees of TETFUND, Dr Musa Babayo, said they were mandated by law to respond to the decay in the state of infrastructure and declining quality of education, saying over the years virtually all the tertiary institutions have been revitalized due to TETFUND intervention.
Students of Federal Polytechnic
Bauchi protesting during the stakeholders
town hall meeting on
in tertiary institutions in the NorthEast Zone in Bauchi yesterday.