Mr. Wike appealed to polytechnic governing councils to intervene in the ASUP strike
The Supervising Minister for Education, Nyesom Wike, said the Federal Government would pay the N20.8 billion arrears owed polytechnic staff as soon as the procedure for payment was concluded.
Mr. Wike stated this at a meeting with the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Polytechnics in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said the Federal Government had met over 80 per cent of the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP).
According to him, the only thing left to be done is the release of the white-paper on the implementation of their demands.
ASUP embarked on strike on October 4 after expressing its disappointment at the Federal Government’s `cold attitude’ to polytechnic education in Nigeria.
He said that contrary to insinuations by the union, the present administration held the polytechnic staff in high esteem.
Hence, the setting up of the Needs Assessment to determine the level of decay in schools and how much would be needed by the Federal Government to revive the institutions, he said.
The minister called on the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Polytechnics to mediate in the impasse between the Federal Government and ASUP to ensure that Nigerian students return to schools.
He, however, urged the committee to work toward ensuring that the institutions return to their original mandate of producing skilled medium level manpower to drive the economy.
Earlier, Ebenezer Babatope, Chairman of the committee of pro-chancellors, called on the minister to facilitate the resolution of the strike by the ASUP.
He also called on the ministry to work toward the release of the white paper of the Visitation Panels to Federal Polytechnics and pay arrears owed to polytechnic staff.
The meeting was attended by officials of the National Board for Technical Education and chairmen of 14 governing councils of polytechnics.