There is no monetary allocation to settle the arrears owed lecturers of the polytechnics who are currently on strike, permanent secretary of the ministry of education, Mr. Mac-John Nwaobiala, has said.
Speaking during a meeting with the House of Representatives committee on education to resolve the 10-month old Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) strike yesterday, Nwaobiala said the ministry plans to request for special funds from the president to be able to take care of the about two years arrears.
He also said the white paper of the much anticipated visitation panel to polytechnics would be released “between this week and next week.”
But at yesterday’s meeting, which was attended by ASUP national president Chibuzor Asumagha and the national secretary Usman Nda-Umar, the perm sec said “We don’t have any provision for settling these arrears in this year’s budget. But the letter we had wanted to write to the president on the arrears was for special intervention funds.”
Chairman of the education committee, Rep Aminu Suleiman (APC, Kano), however expressed disappointment over the absence of the supervising minister on education, Nyesom Wike, at the meeting, who is said to be attending a ministerial conference in Oman.
Earlier, ASUP president, Asumagha, said his union had discussions with the minister of labour based on presidential directive and agreed that the arrears be paid in two installments in April and July, adding that until the two demands were met, the union would continue with the strike.
The meeting will continue when the minister returns on Thursday.
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