The Federal Polytechnic in Ado-Ekiti (AdoPoly) has been reopened, two months after a workers’ strike. Students are angry the strike achieved nothing, describing it as a plot to waste their time.
Read The Nation’s Temitope Yakubu’s report.
Life has returned to the Federal Polytechnic in Ado-Ekiti after a two-month workers’ strike. The institution was shut following allegation of corruption against management. It was closed down two weeks to the semester examination, causing students’ anguish.
The workers’ unions accused the Rector, Dr Theresa Akande, of mismanaging the internally-generated revenue (IGR). The unions, comprising the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) accused management of mismanaging N250 million since 2014.
They also accused the rector of non-implementation of the Consolidated Tertiary Institution Salary Scale (CONTISS) 15, saying it amounted to “gross insensitivity” for management to turn a blind eye to the plight of over 500 workers without portfolio in the school.
According to ASUP chairman Tunji Owoeye, management deliberately stopped the implementation of CONTISS 15 as directed by the Federal Government. He said: “We want to tell the world that the workers are being marginalised by the rector. We will continue to protest until the school adopts the parity policy of a single system.
“We have been agitating for the implementation of starting point of salary scale, which is CONTISS 8 in the polytechnic. When CONTISS 15 was introduced in 2009, only the senior staff benefited because people in CONTISS 12 and above were promoted, while those on CONTISS 11 and below were marginalised.”
The rector denied the allegations, saying there was no substance in them. The Federal Government, she said, had started looking into the issues.
The unions, the rector said, did not communicate their positions to management before embarking on the indefinite strike, adding that management has been meeting with them on the way out.
Dr Akande said: “The Federal Government has set up a Presidential Panel to look into these issues. The fact that I am still the rector despite all their allegations shows that there is no substance in them.
The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), the agency supervising polytechnic education in the country, and the Federal Ministry of Education are looking into the migration issue because it is not a local issue. It affects all federal polytechnics in the country.”
The Deputy Registrar for Information and Protocol, Mr Adeyemi Adejolu, described the unions’ complaints as “old allegations packaged anew”.
He said: “The workers’ unions have petitioned the Minister of Education, Department of State Service (DSS), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and other regulatory agencies. Government is already looking into their allegations. This is not enough reason to shut down the school.”
CAMPUSLIFE gathered that the workers suspended the action after meeting with representatives of the Federal Ministry of Labour and management to sign an agreement.