Our attention has been drawn to media reports alleging that Abia State Government sacked more than 500 workers of Abia State Polytechnic (Abiapoly) Aba on Friday January 12th, 2018 and we wish to state as follows:
1. While Abia state government is aware of ongoing efforts by the management of Abiapoly to sanitize the institution and reposition it for greater operational efficiency, the institution operates as an independent parastatal.
2. Information available to us indicate that as at today, 13th January, 2018, no worker of the institution has received disengagement notice of any kind. It is therefore false to state that any staff of the institution has been sacked or disengaged as a result of the ongoing operational review.
3. We are aware that the management of the institution have been investigating sundry issues bothering on presentation of forged or fake certificates, falsification of age, overstaffing of some units, presentation of first leaving certificates that indicate that the holder already had the certificate at age 3-9, which is naturally impossible, as well as the employment of unqualified teaching and non teaching staff.
4. Abia state government supports any fair, legal and equitable measure taken by the management of the institution to sanitize the institution and re-position it to be able to deliver better quality graduates, pay workers as at when due and wean itself of operational dependence on government financial support for survival.
5. When the current government came on board, we liquidated a N2b loan taken by the institution at commercial rates after the Board and management of the institution promised that relieving it of the loan burden and its associated high interest rate will ensure the school run smoothly with internally generated revenue from students school fees and other sources.
6. Even after removing the burden of the debilitating loan from the institution, the government continued to support the payment of workers wages with monthly subventions of N90m in addition to school fees collected by the institution. It is important to note that as a parastatal established under law, Abiapoly does not remit any portion of its internally generated revenue to the state government and the government is not responsible for the payment of the workers of the institution, but instead pays subventions to the school to cushion revenue inflow shortfalls.
7. The government expects that with sanitization and restructuring of the institution it will cease to be the drainpipe and cesspool of corruption that has stunted its growth into a first class institution worthy of the number one education state in Nigeria.
8. Abia State Government also expect that where the ongoing reviews throw up issues bothering on crimes, the management of the institution will not hesitate to hand over suspects to law enforcement agencies for prosecution.
9. It is instructive to note that following the sanitization of Abia State University Uturu, by the current management, the institution is up to date with workers salary even when subventions from the state is delayed.
10. Abia State Government is aware of attempts by unscrupulous politicians and their satellites masquerading as labor leaders to politicize the management review to score cheap political points. As a responsible government, we will resist such attempts in the interest of the people of Abia State and also ensure that no innocent person is unjustly affected by the ongoing internal review.
11. We therefore call on genuine staff and students of the institution to go about their normal duties and avoid being used by those who by their past actions and inactions brought the institution to its current state.
12. Our expectation is that the reviews and measures being contemplated by the management of Abiapoly will ultimately lead to regular payment of workers wages and excellence in academic activities.
Chief John Okiyi Kalu
Abia State Commissioner For Information