The Federal Government said the refusal of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) to accept the payment of their N40 billion emolument in two instalments was responsible for the lingering strike.

The Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, said this in Bauchi on Monday at the North-East stakeholders’ town hall meeting on Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) intervention.

“We met ASUP leadership in January and they presented their position that the Federal Government should pay N40 billion to show that government is committed to their plight.

“We agreed to pay N20 billion in March and the remaining N20 billion will be in October 2014.

“But they later came back and said they will not accept the instalment unless government pays the N40 billion at once.

“So, they went and said government is doing nothing. If they have accepted our proposal by now we will have paid the first installment.

“That is the stage where we are today and nobody will agree to tell you this truth.

“All what we hear is that government is not interested in polytechnic education whereas government is interested to see that the students are back in school.

“Of the five of the six demands that they presented, the Federal Government has implement almost four or five,’’ Wike said.

The minister said the Federal Government had made more investment in the education sector than any other administration in the past.

Wike said the Federal Government had released not less than N480 billion to Federal Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education nationwide by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund through various interventions.