By FactNews on 07/02/2017

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The Commissioner for Finance in Abia State, Mr. Obinna Oriaku, has described the recent labour crisis between the management and the Academic staff Union of Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, as a result of mismanagement by past administrators.


Oriaku spoke against the backdrop of the directive issued by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu that the Rector of the polytechnic, Prof. Martin Ifeanacho, and the Registrar, Mrs. Constance Evuline, to proceed on a six-month compulsory leave. He stated that successive administrators of the polytechnic had employed staff without following due process. He added that this had resulted in a heavy wage bill difficult for the institution to pay with its internally generated revenue and the state government subvention. He said, “This is an intuition that is just 25 years old. The wage bill in a month is N180m, but the Abia State University with the high number of professors it has and the number of year it has existed still averages N140m with a smaller student population. We commend the management for the structures that have been put in place to discourage fraud in that university.


“When we assumed office, we noticed that the management obtained a loan of N2bn from Firstbank and they were paying the bank N75m monthly. We said, ‘This institution that was not into importation of stockfish, how can it pay N75m monthly and still be able to raise revenue to pay salaries? So, the state government took over the loan and directed them to use the IGR to pay salary while we pay back the loan.


“We also discovered that Abia Polytechnic has 44 accounts in less than 23 banks. That means that the school was destined to go the way we are seeing it today. We later set up structures and streamlined all those accounts into one collecting bank which is Union Bank. Every student now pays through the portal.


"Before now, students were paying school fees in cash or through banks tellers. At the last meeting we had with the management, there were about eight to nine accounts that had yet to been uploaded into that account. “Abia Polytechnic has 99 gatemen and 40 people work in its Library that cannot pass for a library of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, it has almost 50 people in its Medical Unit with three matrons and doctors. That is just recklessness on the part of people who presided over that institution over the years. The workforce is 12,000 and over 800 are senior staff which means the top is very heavy.”


The commissioner disclosed the changes effected in the polytechnic were as a result of the report of a number of committees set up by the state government to review the activities of the polytechnic.


Source Punch

Posted on February, 7 2017

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