President Muhammadu Buhari

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru – Abuja

Polytechnics workers have charged President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to wake up to its responsibilities and tame the recent upsurge in violent attacks, perpetrated by bandits, secession agitators and other non-state actors in the country.

The workers operating under the aegis of Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics, SSANIP, also advised the Federal and 36 State governments to avoid needless industrial actions from workers next year by implementing all the agreements it reached with the different labour unions.

These were contained in the communique issued at the end of SSANIP’s 66th quarterly National Executive Council meeting, held in Abuja.

The communiqué was jointly signed by the association’s National President, Comrade Adebanjo Ogunsipe and the National Secretary, Comrade Hussaini Gwandu.

The communique specifically berated the State governments on the way State polytechnics are being run.

On security, it stated: “Council-in-Session noted with grave concern, the recent upsurge in violent attacks, perpetrated by bandits, secession agitators and other non-state actors.

“While council recognizes and commends all efforts of various law enforcement agents to nip these threats to security in the bud, it implored the Government to step up efforts and re-strategize where necessary to give a good measure of a sense of security to the citizenry.”

It further said, ”Council reiterated its displeasure at the continued non-implementation of the enacted National Minimum Wage Law by some State Governments. It, therefore, appeals to concerned states to ensure that the needful is done in good time to avoid needless industrial conflict.

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”In the same vein, Council frowns at the politics around the payment of the minimum wage arrears by the Federal Government. It, therefore, warns that the continued show of insincerity on the part of the government to pay these arrears would only culminate in a needless and avoidable industrial face-off.

”In this wise, Council implores the relevant tiers of governments to endeavour to do the needful on these issues, in the interest of industrial peace,” Ogunsipe said.

The union leaders also raised concerns over the myriad of challenges facing State Polytechnics which they said ranged from incomplete and non-payment of members’ salaries, non-remittance of deducted monthly check-off dues and other deductions, huge infrastructural deficits among others.

On the resumption of negotiations with the government, SSANIP said, “Council-in-Session expresses delight at the eventual decision of the Federal Government to resume the re-negotiation of the 2010 Agreement.

“Council, therefore expressed the optimism that Government would approach this re-negotiation with utmost sincerity of purpose and honour every clause in the agreement.”

Council-in-Session noted the efforts of the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE towards the release of the new Scheme of Service document.

It, however, frowns at the continued delay in the release of the Scheme of Service document even after it had been found to have been perfected for a time now.

“It feels the continued delay in the release of this document could leave a room for undue mutilation and tinkering, which would be most unacceptable to the Union, Council invariably, implored the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to ensure the prompt release of the Scheme of Service, unadulterated and as jointly reviewed by all stakeholders to assure all of the sustenance of the existing mutual relationship,” the communique stated.

The NEC reiterated that the continued non-implementation of the CONTISS 15 migration by some Polytechnics in the country shall always remain a recipe for industrial disharmony.

“Council posited that it is no longer popular to operate below the CONTISS 15 migration as this apparently is a short change for the few affected Polytechnics. It, therefore, implores all concerned Governments to put machineries in motion to effect the migration.”

It also expressed appreciation on the efforts of the NBTE towards resolving the issue of usurpation of the non-teaching positions by teaching cadres and called on the Rectors and Registrars of affected institutions to respect and abide by the directives in consonance with the subsisting Scheme of Service.

It also implored the Board to ensure that erring Polytechnics are adequately sanctioned.

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