By Bimbola Oyesola 08033246177, [email protected]
The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) has condemned what it termed the lackadaisical attitude of the Federal Government and states towards payment of allowances, the unlawful sacking of workers in Abia State Polytechnic by the state government and the refusal of government to pay salaries of the workers.
Rising from its general executive council meeting at the Labour House, Abuja, the union condemned the way and manner Abia State Government sacked and refused to pay salaries of staff for 27 months without recourse to existing rules regarding staff employment.
“In the reasoned opinion of the council, the act of laying off workers arbitrarily without due consideration for their welfare is more or less a practical demonstration of callousness and insensitivity against the affected staff.” SSANIP said in a communique issued at the end of the meeting.
Against this backdrop, the council demanded that the relevant agencies of Abia State government should expeditiously reinstate the affected staff, with full benefits, in the interest of industrial harmony in the school.
The communique, signed by the SSANIP president, Philip Ogunsipe, and the secretary, Hussaini Gwandu, also lambasted the Federal Government for not paying certain approved allowances, such as responsibility allowances for some principal officers (registrars and bursars), peculiar allowances for health workers as well as promotion arrears (2017 and 2018), specifically for the Federal Polytechnic, Mubi, and Federal Polytechnic, Offa.
Against this backdrop, the council implored the relevant organs of the government to do the needful on the payments, in the interest of industrial harmony.
On the challenges of state polytechnics, the union said: “The council-in-session frowns at the unrepentant disposition of some state governments to the issue of adequate funding of polytechnics in their domains. Council found most unacceptable cases of incomplete/non-payment of salaries of members, arbitrary and illegal sacking of staff, non-remittance of deducted checkoff dues, refusal to implement migration to CONTISS 15, non-release of pension funds, as well as unprecedentedly poor infrastructural development of these polytechnics.
“It, therefore, resolved that the union shall employ all reasonable resources at her disposal to make affected state governments give attention to these issues with a view to addressing them.”
The counciI-in-session equally noted the nonchalant attitude of the Federal Government to continue with the re-negotiation of the 2010 agreement despite the effort of the union.
“The council is concerned that the continued refusal of the relevant agencies of the Federal Government to resume this negotiation may adversely affect the smooth running of the polytechnics. It, therefore, calls on the concerned agencies of the government to expedite action towards ensuring that the negotiation is re-opened to address the issues contained therein,” it added.
On the state of insecurity and tribal agitation in the country, the communique read: “The council-in-session appreciates the President, Muhammadu Buhari for recently rejigging the national security apparatus with a view to injecting new ideas and drive, so as to improve the security situation in the county. The council equally thank the security chiefs for the reinvigorated efforts geared towards enhancing the deteriorated security in the country. Is
“However, the council, for the umpteenth time, wishes to lend her voice to the call on the Federal Government of Nigeria, all security forces and other stakeholders, to aggressively step up efforts to quell the seeming unabating state of insecurity traversing the entire country. Council is greatly disturbed by the needless daily loss of lives and properties occasioned by the criminal activities of some unscrupulous elements.
“Council-in-session carefully observes with discontentment the trends of agitations for self-determination and all reportedly related violent activities that tend to undermine the security of the state. While the union will not controvert the fundamental human right of any Nigerian citizen, council is strongly against any and every action that violently threaten the corporate existence of Nigeria.
“Council, therefore, wishes to implore all aggrieved parts of the country to continue to explore all legal and peaceful means of channeling their grievances, while the government is advised to create an enabling environment for dialogue on these issues with a view to holistically addressing them. It is the candid position of council that the corporate existence of Nigeria is non-negotiable.”