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Auchi poly staff unions express confidence in Acting Rector’s ability to defray their N1.8b debt



Don't tarnish image of Auchi Polytechnic, council warns staff

Auchi Polytechnic staff on Monday said they had implicit confidence that the acting Rector, Dr Sanusi Jimah, would redeem his pledge to liquidate arrears of the inherited N1.8 billion owed to unions at the institution.

The three unions in the institution in March, suspended their month-old strike following an inaugural meeting with Jimah over the outstanding indebtedness of N1.8 billion owed to the unions by the previous administration of Dr Philipa Idogo.

The unions include: the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) and the Non Academic Staff union of Polytechnics (NASUP).

Some nine months since his assumption of office, the leadership of the unions, who described the acting Rector as “a man with a progressive heart,’’ confirmed that he had commenced the process of liquidating the outstanding debt.

In telephone interviews with our reporter in Benin, the union leaders, who commended Jimah’s policies and programmes, expressed implicit confidence in his leadership style.

ASUP chairman, Mr Justin Momodu, said “I must say that all three unions have been enjoying a very cordial relationship with the acting Rector.

“He has treated workers’ welfare with utmost priority, often times, even a step ahead of us.

“For instance, even before we asked, he had tabled the issue of some of our sacked members before the Polytechnic’s Council.

“Council granted the union’s appeal for their recall, and those recalled, who already attained retirement age, had their full benefits restored.

“WIth a management that has JImah as acting Rector, at its helm, workers do not have cause to complain or nurse any fear.

“May I add that for now, workers have implicit confidence in his leadership style,’’ he said.

SSANIP chairman, Mr Godwin Ikhide, confirmed to our reporter that “following management’s agreement with the unions, the acting Rector has paid five per cent of the outstanding N1.8 billion owed to them by the previous management.

“We are glad that he is fulfiling his commitment on his agreement with the unions. What happened was that the previous management, instead of remitting workers’ deducted funds to the union’s welfare account, was re-circulating it to pay staff whose employments were neither approved nor cash-backed.

“This was what accumulated in two years to N1.8 billion, which the previous management left behind.

“But the acting Rector is trying to liquidate this debt with internally generated revenue and is also taking steps to regularise the issue of unapproved employment of staff that has put the institution into this quagmire,’’ he said.

It was reported that members of ASUP are now on a nationwide strike, to demand for the enrolment of their members into CONTISS 15 migration salary structure for levels 11 downwards, and the payment of their promotion arrears.


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