The federal government has disclosed that there is no provision in the 2014 budget for the payment of salary arrears owed Polytechnic lecturers in Nigeria.
This was disclosed on Monday by McJohn Nwaobiala, permanent secretary in the Ministry who represented Nyesom Wike, Minister of Education at a hearing organised by members of the House of Representatives Committee on education.
The meeting presided over by Aminu Suleiman, Chairman of the House committee set out to find a solution to the protracted strike action embarked upon by polytechnic lecturers.
Speaking at the meeting, the Permanent Secretary told lawmakers that there was no way the ministry could pay the arrears without a budgetary provision.
Nwaobiala also stated that much depended on the release of the White Paper on the visitation panels to the polytechnics by the Federal Government but the White paper is still before the government, which was yet to release it.
He informed the committee that the ministry was not opposed to the payment of CONTISS-14 salary arrears to the striking Polytechnic lecturers, but maintained that the only setback was the lack of budgetary provision.
“In this year 2014, we don’t have a provision for settling this arrears. The minister had required for a special budgetary intervention to enable us to settle it. I can’t make a commitment to say that I will or that the ministry will release these funds in April or July. What I will say is that my minister needs to consult with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Minister of Labour so that we can know how we can get the funds,” stated Nwaobiala.
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