Government aims to address all ASUP’s demands
In a bid to resolve the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, the supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, will on Tuesday meet with the union.
According to a statement, Monday, by the minister’s Special Assistant on Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, the meeting would aim at resolving all outstanding issues and demands by the union and reaching a concrete agreement.
The statement said that officials of the Federal Ministry of Education had briefed polytechnic students on efforts of the ministry and Federal Ministry of Labour to resolve the issues which led to the strike by ASUP.
The minister had in October, 2013 met with ASUP leadership at the commencement of the strike, which ended with both parties reaching key decisions. According to the statement, Mr. Wike and the Minister of Labour, Emeka Wogu, met with officials of ASUP many times, briefing them on the key steps taken for the white paper to be released. It was on the basis of these efforts and negotiations that the Federal Government demanded that ASUP should call off the ongoing strike and allow for complete resolution of the outstanding issues.
The statement said that the Federal Government resolved that all other major demands of ASUP such as setting up of Needs Assessment Committee, establishment of areas of intervention in infrastructure in the polytechnics and the constitution of governing councils for polytechnics would be addressed.
It said that the present administration under the High Impact Development Scheme by TETFUND, invested N12 billion to improve facilities in 12 selected polytechnics. It disclosed that government also released a grant of N15 billion to federal and state polytechnics for the provisions of state-of-the-art laboratories. The grant would be used for the refurbishment of old laboratories and the training of staff on the handling of newly acquired equipment.
The statement quoted the minister as saying that after the meeting with ASUP, the leaders of the National Association of Polytechnic Students, NAPS, would be briefed on the outcome of the meeting and efforts of the Federal Government to improve polytechnic education in the country.