Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, during a round table meeting organised by ASUP in Abuja, with the theme, “Repositioning Nigeria’s Polytechnics for National Relevance and Global Competitiveness,” said the Federal Government has approved N30 billion for Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
Adamu, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, National Board of Tertiary Education, NBTE, Idris Bugaje, noted that the money is intended to alleviate the challenges facing Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
The approval is coming on the heels of a series of agitations for better welfare for members by the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP.
The minister hinted that his ministry was working hard to ensure the release of the money to the respective institutions.
He said: “I am glad to report that as part of the realisation of the pivotal role of polytechnics to the advancement of Nigeria, Mr President has approved the sum of 30 billion Naira to ameliorate the challenges facing Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in Nigeria.
“The Ministry is working hard to ensure the release of this amount to the respective institutions.”
He urged the unions in tertiary institutions to focus more on capacity building through skill development which is its core mandate than on certification.
While delivering his goodwill message, the President of ASUP, Comrade Anderson Ezeibe, advised the Federal Government to discontinue indiscriminate proliferation of polytechnics and focus on funding and development of existing ones.
The ASUP President noted with dismay that Polytechnics are fast becoming mere constituency projects established to satisfy political convenience rather than for educational development and the growth of the nation.
Ezeibe lamented the devaluation and discrimination of polytechnic graduates which he blamed on ignorance and poor funding for the institutions that has resorted in infrastructural gap, making polytechnics less attractive to students.