By Ugochukwu Alaribe
ABA — WORKERS of Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, have defied a directive by the state government to resume academic activities or lose their appointments.
The workers under the aegis of Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP; Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics, SSANIP, and the Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, who had been on strike, vowed not to return to work until their seven months arrears of salary were paid.
Commissioner for Education, Professor Ikechi Mgbeoji, had ordered workers of the polytechnic to resume work, Monday, and warned that any employee of the institution who failed to resume should be deemed to have resigned his or her appointment.
But when Vanguard visited the polytechnic to monitor the level of workers’ compliance to the government directive, members of the three unions were stationed at the school gate to ensure that no student or other members of staff had access to the school compound.
In an interview, chairman SSANIP, Abia Polytechnic Chapter, Nwachukwu Chuks, told journalists that they were ready to resume work as soon as their salaries are paid.
He said: “Remember, what we are talking about is being paid for a job that has been already done and not the one that we are yet to do. We understand the challenges of the government and we appreciate efforts of the state governor so far.
“The state government subvents about N90 million to the school and for nine months the subvention has not come. Let the government release the subvention and from there, workers salaries can be paid. What we are saying is that, the staff should be paid some money out of the seven months salary arrears we are being owed, the workers will come back to work.”
Vanguard gathered that the state government had released two months owed workers of the institution while the newly appointed Rector, Prof. Ezionye Ebo, had in a meeting with the unions and students announced that the government had released another two months salaries and urged them to resume academic activities.