…Says Policy Will Kill Ogwashi-Uku, Otefe-Oghara Polytechnics
By Onome Oghenetega
The Delta State chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has issued a 30-day ultimatum to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to review his position on the state’s Salary Subvention Policy on polytechnics in the state.
The Union gave the ultimatum during a press conference held at the Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku.
ASUP Zonal Coordinator for South-South and South-East, Comrade Precious Nwakodo, said the ultimatum followed the refusal of the Delta government to review its position on the Salary Subvention Policy.
Nwakodo, flanked by ASUP chairman, Ogwashi-Uku Polytechnic, Comrade Joseph Iwezu, and other union leaders, bemoaned the policy, stating that the policy is capable of killing the state polytechnics.
He called on the state government to have a rethink and halt further implementation of the policy in the two state-owned polytechnics – Ogwashi-Uku and Otefe-Oghara.
According to him, “Since the introduction of this policy in April 2022, staff of the institutions now receive salaries two-to-three weeks into the new month. The economic effect of this on the private lives of these workers who are indigenes of the State as well as their dependents are better imagined.
“This ugly trend has continued to worsen as the months pass, management or these institutions are finding it extremely difficult to raise several millions of naira monthly to augment what the government provides.
“If not checked now, these institutions will start owing staff salaries which may lead to the kind of situation we have in Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, where staff are owned up to 36 months arrears of salary
“However, the reality is that this policy will and has already started having serious adverse consequences on tertiary education in the state”
He maintained that the union is rejecting the policy, and equally calling on the state government to immediately take a second look at the policy with a view to stopping its implementation.
Nwakodo listed some of the ills of the policy to include delay in payment of salaries, low staff morale, low quality of education and imminent staff rationalization.
He also disclosed that already there is high evidence of dearth of staff in the state-owned polytechnics.
The Union leader stated further that staff inadequacy is a major problem in Delta Polytechnics in Ogwashi-Uku and Otefe-Oghara, adding, “resigned, retired and dismissed staff are yet to be replaced. This has left huge staff deficits in the institutions.”