The Minister of Education, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike has re-assured the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) of Government’s commitment to implementing the CONTISS 15 for deserving academic staff in the federal polytechnics that have migrated.
Ezenwo Wike gave the assurance during a meeting with the national leaders of the Union in his office aimed at resolving the seven months strike declared by it.
According to him, the cost implication has been provided in the 2014 budget. He stressed that Government is sourcing funds to pay the outstanding arrears. Adding, issues that have to deal with salary are not in the purview of the Federal Ministry of Education.
Speaking further, the Minister implored ASUP to reciprocate government’s gesture by calling- off the strike while arrangements are ongoing for payment of the arrears. He cited the issue with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) saying similar encounter surfaced. “The government has accented to indebtedness to you. The next thing should be the modalities for payment of the arrears,” he explained.
The Minister frowned at what he called deliberate dissemination of falsehood to the public by the Union over the contending issues, indicating that that Government is genuinely making efforts to resolve the matter issue. He maintained that the four affairs deliberated upon with the Union have almost been resolved, including migration to CONTISS 15, Need Assessment, Governing Council and white paper on visitation panels.
On the seeming delays in the kick-off of the Needs Assessment, the Minister asked who was to receive the assessment teams as the schools have not yet reopened? He opined that the initiative was a voluntary action by the government towards ascertaining the extent of decay in the system as a first step to tackling the acknowledged challenges in contrast to the claims of the Union.
The President of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, Chibuzo Asomugha in his remarks said that the resolve to reduce the 13-point demands of the Union to four was in response to government’s appeal, but none of the issues has been exhaustively addressed.
He denied the allegation by the President of the National Association of Polytechnics Students (NAPS) insinuating that ASUP did not consider the interest of the students. He explained that the issue of dichotomy between HND and BSc holders ought to have been completed before the end of 2012.
While speaking earlier, the President of the National Association of Polytechnics Students (NAPS), Sunday Ogbonnaya urged the Federal Government and ASUP to resolve their differences, saying students are at the receiving end of the effects of the seven months strike.
Sunday Ogbonnaya accused the lecturers of insensitivity to the concern of the students, citing the decision to drop the issue of dichotomy in the course of the negotiation as evidence and describing it as a paramount interest of students. He called on lecturers to desist from using students as tools to achieve their personal gains; urging the union to device alternative strategies to the use of strike action to address grievances.
Federal Republic of Nigeria Press Release
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