The Chairman of the Senate House Committee on Education, Uche Chukwumerije, has plead with the striking lecturers of polytechnics and Colleges of Education to accept whatever resolution the Federal Government offers them to end the strike.
Chukwumerije, who was represented by a committee member, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, spoke yesterday in Ondo after inspecting facilities at the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) in Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State.
The senator said the Federal Government had been holding series of meetings with the leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) and the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU).
He assured that the government would end the strike.
Chukwumerije urged the striking lecturers to consider the various security challenges facing the nation.
According to him, this was among the reasons the government could not meet the demands of the striking lecturers.
The senator advised them to take whatever the government was offering them.
He explained that the major concern of the Goodluck Jonathan administration was on how to rescue the over 200 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents in Chibok, Borno State.
Chukwumerije said: “Nigerians know the active role being played by the Senate during the industrial action of members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the ongoing strike by ASUP and COEASU. We are deeply involved. We had a meeting last week and we are going to have another one on June 23.
“What we want all Nigerians to appreciate is that we are at a very difficult time. Our nation is going through a very difficult moment. We all heard of the unfortunate tragedy about the school children slaughtered in Yobe State. They did not stop there; these convoluted evil-minded people abducted our schoolgirls in Chibok.
“So, the President’s primary challenge is security. All institutions, all persons in Nigeria are supposed to give due recognition to this issue.
“In our negotiation with the government, we have to be mindful that the priority of this government is security. So, we are urging the ASUP and COEASU to be mindful of the security situation in negotiating with the government so that whatever that needs to be done should be done within the parametre of the challenge.”
He said the committee had directed the Chief Executive officer of NIEPA to write members on the propose merger of the institution on whether or not it is desirable for the Education sector.
ASUP has been on strike since October 4, 2013. The union’s demands include the need for the constitution of the Governing Councils of Federal Polytechnics, the migration of the lower cadres on the CONTISS 15 salary scale, the release of the White Paper on the Visitations to Federal Polytechnics, and the need for the commencement of the Need Assessment of Nigerian Polytechnics.
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