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ASUP urges Abia to pay Polytechnic workers

Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), has urged the Abia State government to defray 50 percent of about N5billion owed the institution, through salaries and subventions.

Anderson Ezeibe, president, ASUP told newsmen in Aba that the union pushed for half payment of the sum owed the institution at the education summit, which ended, Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

The 3-day education summit was organised by the Abia State Government to find a lasting solution to the challenges faced by Abia State Polytechnic that resulted in no-payment of staff salary.

We seek consensus views to defray what the government is owing because the government is owing to the institution N2.7billion of unreleased subventions since 2015, Ezeibe stated.

“And the staff are owed salaries put together hovering around N3 billion; so, what it means is that major reason salaries have not been paid is that government has not released subventions meant for the institution.

“So, we are asking that a lump sum of 50 percent be released to the institution and the remaining 50 percent be spread across one-year.

“However, there are consensus positions already and these include the fact that workers are owed 21 months salary arrears already.

“Another is that the institution is going down with this kind of regime and that the frequent changes in the management of the institution are not in the best interest of the institution.

“We also have a consensus view that people should not be imported from outside to come and administer the institution.

“And if you have four out of five chief executives, called to administer the institution in the last five years, are from outside, what kind of institution is that?” he queried.

Ezeibe explained that there is an agreement that a lot of programmes in the institution need to be accredited, but added that the accreditation is tied to the issue of staff salaries.

He also observed that the government needs to change its view of the Polytechnic and stop de-marketing it, through media publications and lack of patronage of the institution’s graduates.

He noted that both parties agreed that the edict, which runs the school came into life in 1994, which according to him, is no longer in tune with current realities.

He expressed the need to look for ways of domesticating the Federal Polytechnics amendment Act of 2019, which is the most recent in the country.

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