Federal Polytechnic Uwana Gives Condition To Call Off Indefinite Strike

The industrial action embarked upon by members of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Unwana chapter, may come to an end any moment from now, with the intervention of the governing council of Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic Unwana (AIFPU), though management of the institution is yet to meet the demands of the union.

The union had embarked on an indefinite strike on Thursday, August 1, 2019, over non-payment of 27 months Peculiar Academic Allowance (PAA) arrears owed its members by management of AIFPU, the condition of service, poor office accommodation, among other issues.

However, in a position paper presented to the 8th governing council of AIFPU on August 8, this year, which enumerates sources of internally generated revenue (IGR) by the institution, jointly signed by chairman of the union, Mr Felix Uga Idu and publicity secretary, Mr Ukegbu Chibuzo, with a copy obtained by Blueprint, the union expressed hope that “the council would dig into the sources highlighted, with the objective of paying the backlog of allowances owed to staff and also improving on their working conditions.”

They said that, despite the intervention by council of the institution, which pleaded with the union to suspend its strike while it looks into the matters raised, “they do not need a cosmetic fix to the current face-off; rather working to seeing that a permanent solution is realised.”

The document reads in part: “Before the inception of the current administration of AIFPU, staff used to be happy; not just because of the pay package, but because the tools and materials were provided for them to carry out their respective job functions. This unfortunately, is not the trend today, not with management claiming ‘there is no IGR’.

“The administration before this had embarked on projects executed with IGR. The fact that the institution now renders most of her services electronically, including screening and clearance of students, simply means that a significant cost is cut down already. In this circumstance, it is expected that IGR should increase. In fact, from the 38th Matriculation brochure for the 2018/2019 academic session, a total of 7,159 fresh students were admitted, though more than this paid for online admission forms.

“For instance, 1,716 ND1 regular students paid ₦3000 per candidate as admission fee, totalling ₦ 5,148,000, while 1,633 ND1 part-time students paid the same amount, totalling ₦ 4,899,000. On the other hand, 3,810 HND1 students paid ₦5000 per candidate, totalling ₦19,050,000. Note that this is for those offered admission only, not even for the candidates that applied, but did not make the admission.

“Again, 7,159 students paid ₦ 15,000 each as acceptance fee, totalling ₦ 107,880,000. This is apart from the ₦1,500 compulsory Admission Status fee paid by every prospective student seeking admissions, totalling ₦ 10,788,000. Therefore, the sub-total for revenue generated from admitted students alone is ₦ 147,765,000.

“This is apart from the millions of naira paid by regular and part time students as tuition fees, for Entrepreneurship Education (EED), certificate, convocation, alumni, reparation, course registration, royalty on books sold in the Polytechnic bookshop, land lease and business premises permit, among other sources of IGR, notable of them being MTN Nigeria believed to be paying an annual royalty up to ten million naira.

“In a nutshell, we are hopeful that this position paper will help the council dig a little deeper into these sources highlighted; with the dispassionate objective of paying the backlog of owed allowances to staff and also improving on working conditions of staff.”

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