ABUJA—The federal government yesterday appealed to Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Polytechnics to mediate in the impasse between it and Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, in order to ensure that Nigerian students returned to school.

Supervising Minister of Education, Mr. Ezenwo Wike, made the appeal while addressing the Pro-Chancellors in a meeting in Abuja.
He said the Federal Government had met over eighty percent of the demands of ASUP, with the release of the white-paper, the only thing left to be done.

He said: “Contrary to insinuations by the union, the Federal Government holds the Polytechnic staff in high esteem, hence the setting up of the Needs Assessment to determine the level of decay in the schools and how much will be needed by the Federal Government to revive the institutions.
“The Federal Government has started the process of paying the N20.8 billion arrears owed Polytechnic staff, the funds will be released as soon as the procedures are concluded.”

Earlier, chairman of the Committee of Pro-Chancellors, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, called on the minister to facilitate the resolution of the strike by ASUP.
He also called on the Federal Ministry of Education to work towards the release of the white paper of the Visitation Panels to Federal Polytechnics and pay arrears owed  polytechnic staff.
The meeting was attended by officials of the National Board for Technical Education and chairmen of 14 governing councils of Polytechnics.

Meanwhile, in order to ensure proper monitoring of the N200 billion that was part of the agreement reached with Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to call off its five months old, the Federal Government yesterday inaugurated a committee to monitor  proper use of the money.
Wike, while inaugurating the committee, said it was part of the resolution reached between the Federal Government and ASUU.

He said the setting up of the committee showsedthe commitment of the Federal Government in ensuring that tertiary institutions were properly funded.


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