The Rector Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, Shu’aibu Musa says allegations by striking lecturers of the school are mischievous.
He stated this in Bauchi Thursday while reacting to the allegations raised by the Joint Action Committee of Academic (JAC) of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Senior Staff Association of Nigeria of Polytechnics (SSANIP) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), led by ASUP Chairman, Ahmed Musa Mukaddas.
According to him, most of the issues raised by ASUP and the demands are not peculiar to the Polytechnic, and called on them to consider the plight of the students and call off their indefinite strike.
The rector explained that the issues of non-implementation of promotions of for 2014, 2015 and 2016 and arrears of 2014, 2015 and 2016, non-payment of salary shortfall for 2016 and non-payment of academic and peculiar allowances raised by the three unions of the polytechnic were all national issues affecting polytechnics nationwide.
He further noted that the unions’ demands for industrial action were fraught with misrepresentations of facts and mischief and have succeeded in misleading the general public.
“It is on record that the federal government has recently acknowledge its liability to these claims requesting all ministries, departments and agencies to compile same and present to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation through a circular dated July 4, 2017,” he said.
He said the polytechnic had written to the Budget office, the National Board for Technical Education, the federal ministry of education and the National Assembly over the issue of non-implementation of promotions and promotions arrears.
On the non-payment of Salary shortfall for 2016 and February, 2017, he said that it is common knowledge that all MDAs experienced shortfalls in 2016, adding the Federal Government set up the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit , PICA to verify the claims by MDAs, with PICA visiting the polytechnic to verify its own claims.
The rector explained that the Polytechnic had also followed up on the issue by holding meetings with the committee of Governing Council led by the ASUP Chairman and all parties were waiting for the release of the funds.
Also reacting to the issue of non-payment of Academic and peculiar allowances, he said the federal government had been paying the allowances until 2013, when the ASUP went on strike that lasted almost a year.
“We lost a year and as a result a whole session was lost and no revenue was generated by the polytechnic, but as a sign of goodwill, the polytechnic [sees] the claims as liabilities and these funds would be settled when the funds are generated,” he said
He explained that at the end of the 2016/2017 registration, in March and April, the polytechnic paid over N81 million for 12 months adding, “We agreed with the unions that a committee would out the modalities of paying the outstanding allowances, after the the next registration exercise. The committee is in place and working.