The Federal Government has released N16.8 billion to settle outstanding salary arrears of staff in the country’s tertiary institutions.
Malam Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education, while disclosing this at a Ministerial Press Briefing in Abuja, said that disbursement is ongoing through the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
Adamu, who said that the government had resolved all issues, was optimistic that the various academic unions will soon call off their strikes.
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has been on strike since December 12, while the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU)’s strike started on November 4 .
The minister said that the Federal Government has reached agreement on review of Polytechnic Act and the government is awaiting the transmittal of the amended document by the National Assembly to Mr. President for his assent. Others areas were revitalisation of polytechnics and colleges of education and renegotiation of the 2010 agreements
He said that government is committed to the revitalisation of facilities in its public tertiary institutions, especially the polytechnics and colleges of education, and had directed the Minister of Finance to source for additional funding to the tune of N30 billion for the purpose.
“Also for state owned polytechnics; the National Board for Technical Education has been directed to strengthen its regulatory mechanism including developing a new template for accreditation to address observed weaknesses.
“And to ensure that proprietors of polytechnics including states and private owners meet their obligations to their staff.
“Again as a demonstration of Government’s commitment to continuous dialogue with the staff unions, the ministry will provide alternative funding for the stalled renegotiations in the polytechnics sub- sector,” he said.
The minister revealed that the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) and the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) have been directed to ensure compliance with the approved schedules of meetings with their respective unions.
Similarly, Adamu noted that the government team had reached agreement with ASUU, while hoping that academic activities will also resume in universities’ campuses across the country without further delay. He, however, commended the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) for calling off its strike to allow the students in colleges of education get back to academic activities.