Workers of the embattled Abia State Polytechnic Aba have said they will not participate in the conduct of the institutions first semester examinations scheduled to commence on September 16 unless they are paid their over 29 months’ salary arrears.
Rising from an emergency Congress meeting last week Friday September 10, the Academic Staff Union of the polytechnic ASUP, resolved among other things not to allow the examinations to go ahead except the management take measures to pay its members at least three months salaries out of the 29 months arrears.
The Congress which was monitored by All FACTS NEWSPAPER also resolved to communicate its decision to the management on or before the close of work on September 12, vowing not to shift ground unless its demands are met.
Before arriving at the decision to shun the proposed examinations the, ASUP Congress presided over by its chairman Comrade Chike David considered two other options namely: the option of giving management a two-week ultimatum to pay and the option of going ahead with the examinations while waiting for the management to pay.
ALL FACTS NEWSPAPER gathered that the last time the polytechnic workers including non-academic staff were paid was last March when they received November 2019 salary. Since then, nothing has come the way of the workers a situation which has led to majority of them trekking to work.
It will be recalled that in August 2019 the authorities of the institution had terminated the appointment of no fewer than 300 staffers citing the need to cut down monthly wage bill as a major reason. Similarly about three months ago, the polytechnic management sent another 200 staff in to the labour market bringing to 500 the total number of staff that have been sacked since 2019 all in bid to be able to pay the staff salaries as and when due.
Ironically the situation instead of improving has continued to worsen forcing the workers to take their present stance. As at the time of reporting the management team could not be reached for comment. But an impeccable source who craved anonymity in an interview with ALL FACTS NEWSPAPER blamed the predicament of the polytechnic on the state government which he said has not met its statutory obligation to the polytechnic in terms of monthly subventions. “My position on the whole issue has been and will continue to be that so long as the state government continue to deny the polytechnic its monthly subventions even if you sack and it remains less than 100 staff salaries will still not be regular.
Abia. State government is supposed to be giving the polytechnic a monthly subvention of 90 million naira but the last few years this subvention has not been coming. To make matters worse, internally generated revenue in the last five years has been nothing to write home about due to a sharp drop in students’ population.
Anyalewechi Suleiman ..afnews. ABA.