The Federal Government has revalidated the proposed disbursement of N30bn worth of revitalisation fund to Federal Government-owned polytechnics and colleges of education, The PUNCH has learnt.
Our correspondent also gathered that there are issues surrounding the disbursement as the government’s side excluded some of the stakeholders which include the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union from discussions on how the fund will be released to different polytechnics and colleges of education in the country.
A source in the Ministry of Education, who spoke to our correspondent under the condition of anonymity, noted that the government did not want the unions to get involved because the funds are about the institutions and not the unions.
“The issue surrounding the revitalisation fund has to do with respective institutions. It has nothing to do with the lecturers. If we are talking about salaries, we will understand that they will want to get involved in the negotiation process but for revitalisation funds, the government will deal with the governing council of the schools directly,” the source noted.
Meanwhile, the PUNCH reports that COEASU has extended its ongoing strike by three weeks.
Though ASUP had called off its strike, the union noted that it would resume its strike if its demands are not met.
One of the demands peculiar to both unions is the disbursement of revitalisation funds for institutions.
Confirming the development to our correspondent, the ASUP National President, Dr Anderson Ezeibe, said, “The issue of the revitalisation fund has been revalidated during our warning strike after the previous approval elapsed. “The fresh challenge is that they are trying to decide the allocation formula unilaterally without stakeholders.”
Similarly, the COEASU Secretary General, Dr Ahmed Lawan, in a text message sent to our correspondent, stated, “Modalities for the disbursement of the revitalisation funds are yet to be agreed upon as the committee of stakeholders which is saddled with the responsibility is expected to reconvene within the next few weeks.”
Speaking with our correspondent, the Ministry of Education’s spokesperson, Ben Goong, said, “There will be a sitting and all the modalities will be fashioned out. The minister will see to it.”