To avert a crisis in the polytechnics, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has asked the Federal Government to address the problems and irregularities associated with the implementation of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), as well as other pending demands.
ASUP Chairman, Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) chapter, Mr. Remi Ajiboye after an extended executive meeting, lamented the neglect of the polytechnic sub-sector by successive governments, saying the union is ready to take action to ensure its demands are met.
The ASUP boss subsequently issued a 14-day ultimatum to the government to address all pending issues, failure of which they will proceed on strike.
Ajiboye, who noted that the only language government understands is a strike, said the union may not have another option.
If the government fails to implement the demands of ASUP, Ajiboye said members were ready for industrial action.
“We have waited for too long on outstanding demands. There was an emergency NEC meeting last year when branches were asked to vote, YABATECH congress and other polytechnics voted for a strike,” he stated.
The ASUP boss said the Federal Government is owing polytechnic lecturers 10 months arrears on the new minimum wage.
“In July we were promised payment and again our president was told it would be paid in December 2020, but nothing has been done. We are now in January,” Ajiboye said.
Besides, he lamented that members have not been paid promotion arrears for 2018 and 2019, saying only three polytechnics were paid.
He said: “Another major issue threatening the polytechnic sector is the non-composition of governing councils. The situation has paralysed polytechnics in the country. Because of it, the 2020 promotion exercise has been put on hold. We are waiting for the council to ratify the promotion exercise and address other issues.”
Ajiboye decried haphazard implementation of IPPIS, stating that members of staff in the polytechnic system have not been receiving full salaries since the new payment platform was introduced.
“Staff cannot say how much their monthly salary is. It is whatever one is paid, you take home. We have members that have not been captured. IPPIS officials keep promising they would address the issue.
The chairman explained that ASUP was the first union to reject IPPIS and demanded a template for implementation, which after their inputs, was not used.
He identified the non-payment of cooperative dues as another problem with IPPIS, saying members can’t take loans to settle family issues, which is worrisome to the union.
On NEEDS Assessment, Ajiboye explained that the government has not released the N15billion for federal polytechnics to upgrade their facilities. He said the report was submitted in 2014 and the grant to develop polytechnic infrastructure is still hanging.
Ajiboye described the National Housing Fund as a fraud, stressing, “we don’t know where our money is. We have filled forms for over two months and no action has been taken. Our members are worried about the NHF.”
“Another issue affecting ASUP members is tax. It is high and whoever is in charge should look at it. We have a situation where members pay between N50,000 to N70,000 every month as tax. This is a major concern and government must address it,” the union leader stated.
He expressed concern over the non-approval of the new scheme of service for polytechnic workers, saying the issue has been lingering for over three years.