By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
SENIOR Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics, SSANIP, on Tuesday gave the Federal Government 21 days to address all the problems associated with the implementation of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, if not the union would review its stance on IPPIS.
SSANIP also commended the government’s decision to re-open Schools across the federation, having facilitated modalities toward safety protocol arrangements at the Institution level.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the union’s emergency meeting at the Labour House, Abuja and signed by SSANIP President, Comrade Phillip Ogunsipe
According to the communiqué, “The Council-in-session observed that there has been disjointed implementation of salary in the Polytechnic since Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) commenced the payment of salaries for staff since February 2020.
“Some of the lingering issues associated with IPPIS include non-release of new Minimum Wage arrears, inconsistencies in the release of third party deductions, non-payment of COVID-19 hazard allowance for health workers, high draconian tax regime on consolidated salary, delay in the release of 2018 and 2019 promotion arrears, among others.
“Against this backdrop, the Council wishes to call on the relevant agencies Of Government to expedite actions toward resolving these highlighted challenges.
“Equally, the Council Wish to frankly state that failure of the IPPIS to address these highlighted challenges within 21 days from the date of this communiqué would leave the Union with no option than to review its stance on IPPIS.”
On re-opening of schools, it said, “The Council-in-session commends the efforts of the Government at all levels, particularly the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and curve Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) towards flattening COVID-19 in the country.
“Equally, the Council wishes to appreciate the wisdom and decision of the Government to re-open Schools across the Federation, having facilitated modalities toward safety protocol arrangements at the Institution level.”
SSANIP lamented on the worsening insecurity in the country and called on the Federal Government to urgently address the issue of security of life and property and also the general decay in the entire road network across the country.
The Council for the umpteenth time expressed its displeasure at the way and manner the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has handled the Scheme of Service so far and condemned the decision of the Board to review the same scheme of service without due consultation with relevant stakeholders.
It said, “On the strength of this, the Council resolved that an attempt to foist a Scheme of Service document on SSANIP without our input is unacceptable and therefore would be an invitation to an atmosphere of industrial disharmony.
“The Council wish to specifically and frankly state that the failure of NBTE to address this issue within 21 days from the date of this communique would leave the Union with no other option than to declare industrial dispute.”
It further observed that since the expiration of the tenure of the last Governing Councils for the Federal Polytechnics in May, 2020, the Institutions have continued to function without the Governing Boards.
It said, “In the understanding of the Council, Governing Board occupies a very strategic position in the running of the Polytechnic system. Therefore, the delay in the reconstitution of the Governing Councils is a challenge to the smooth running of the Polytechnics.
“In view of the above, the Council wishes to call on the Federal Government to expedite action on the re-constitution of Governing Councils for the Federal Polytechnics.”
SSANIP noted with dismay the alleged nonchalant attitude of the government to continue with the renegotiation of the 2010 Agreement which it said was long overdue.
It also frowned at the alleged inadequacy and delay in the release of over-head costs to Federal Polytechnics by the Federal Government, even as it observed that the short-coming has the potential of impairing the day-to-day running of these Institutions.
Consequently, “The Council, therefore, wishes to impress it upon the relevant agencies of the Government to ensure that the running costs are adequate and promptly released to these Institutions.”
According to the communiqué, “The Council-in-session expressed worry at the plethora of challenges faced by the State-owned Polytechnics and similar institutions across the country.
“Of particular concern were issues of haphazard and part-payment of workers’ salaries, non-implementation of the new Minimum Wage, non-domestication of the Contributory Pension Scheme, non-implementation of the 65 years retirement age in line with the relevant provisions of the Polytechnic Act (as amended), issue of migration to CONTISS 15, among others.
The Council, therefore, wishes to impress it upon concerned State Governments to ensure that these issues are adequately addressed in the spirit of industrial harmony.
“The Council-in-session frowned at the forceful retirement of the Ag. Registrar of the Federal Polytechnic, Ekowe, Bayelsa State by the Management of the Institution against the agreement reached with The Federal Ministry of Education, NBTE, Governing Council, The Polytechnic Management and SSANIP. In the well-considered opinion of the Council, the forceful retirement of Comrade Abadani Woyingikuro was against the provisions of the relevant documents guiding the operation of the Polytechnic system in Nigeria.
“The Council, therefore, resolved that the Management of the Polytechnic should revert to the earlier agreement reached on this matter, without further delay, failure which SSANIP would not be able to guarantee industrial harmony in the Institution.”