The Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike has lambasted Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) leadership over the seven months old strike saying their refusal to accept payment of their emolument of N40b in two installment was responsible for the lingering strike.
The Minister who could not hid his anger said the Polytechnics students are still at home today because ASUP rejected vehemently the option to pay in two installment between March and October 2015.
Wike stated this Tuesday during the North East stakeholders town hall meeting on TETFUND intervention held at 1000 theater hall of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi .
“We met ASUP leadership in January and they presented their position that the Federal Government should pay 40b, to show that government is committed to their plight, we agreed to pay N20b in March and the remaining N20b in October but they later came back and said they will not accept the installment unless government pay N40b in full.
So don’t say that government is not doing nothing , If they have accepted by now we would have pay the first installment and October is almost here, that is the stage where are today and nobody will agree to tell you this truth, all we here is that Government is not interested in polytechnic education, which government is nit interested to see that the students are back in school?
“Of the five of the six demands that they presented, the Federal government has implement almost four or five”.
The Minister explained that the Federal Government has made huge investment in the education sector more than any other administration in the past adding that this include huge investment in basic education which is not the responsibility of the federal Government but that if the state government in all a bid to promote education development in the country.
Wike disclosed that not less than N480b 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, infrastructural development, training among others calling on the heads of the various institutions to access the huge funds lying unused.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of Abubakar Tafawawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Prof Mohammed Hamisu Mohammed thanked TETFUND for special intervention of N3b given to the University which was expended in the building of Library complex, school of engineering among others.
The Vice Chancellor also thanked the board of trustee of TETFUND for the release of N400m been currently used to build the medical college of the University.
Also speaking, chairman Board of Trustee of TETFUND, Dr Musa Babayo said they were mandated by law to respond to the decay in the state in infrastructure and declining quality of education saying that over the years virtually all the tertiary institution have been revitalized due to the interventions of TETFUND. (Vanguard)