Reporter : UCHE NDEKE
The Federal Government has been called upon to pay the arrears of the new National Minimum Wage to workers of federal Polytechnics across the country without further delay.
This is to prevent industrial dispute within the polytechnics sector.
The Deputy National President of Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), Comrade Simon Go’ar, made the call during a regular meeting of polytechnics and other trade groups at the Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State.
Comrade Go”ar expressed regret that while other federal government ministries, departments and agencies had since been paid the approved minimum wage, workers of federal polytechnics were yet to be paid despite the hardship they were experiencing as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.
He also called on the Federal Government to immediately reconstitute the governing councils of federal polytechnics that were dissolved at the expiration of their tenure in May 2019 to enable them play their constitutional roles.
The National Secretary of NASU, Comrade Peters Adeyemi, observed with sadness the challenges and hiccups some workers continued to experience with the Integrated Personnel Payment Information System (IPPIS) and called on the government to look into the platform, which he said was not serving the purpose for which it was introduced in the education sector.
The Chairman of the Union in Anambra State, Comrade Emeka Nwafor, decried the level of security challenges confronting the nation and enjoined government, religious organisations, families and public spirited Nigerians to work together with a view towards saving the nation’s economy from total collapse.
For his part, the leader of Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, Federal Poly Oko, Comrade Emmanuel Okolie, while commending the industrial harmony existing between the union and the school management, however urged the authorities to consolidate on their achievements by resolving long standing issues of some NASU members in the institution.
The Rector, Federal Polytechnics Oko, Dr. Fransisca Nwagulugo, while describing education as the key to the development and growth of any nation, called on stakeholders in the education sector to initiate ideas for sustainable and quality learning in various institutions.
In their separate messages, the Chairman Nigeria Labour Congress in Anambra State, Comrade Jerry Nnubia, and the state Controller of Labour, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mrs. Rose Obianwu, noted that the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had improved the condition of service of workers.
They encouraged the unions to know that the prosperity of a nation did not depend on the abundance of her revenue but on the number of her educated and enlightened citizens.
The stakeholders in the education sector also expressed worry about the government’s insensitivity to the tax burden under the Pay As You Earn (PAYE), which is depleting the earnings of Nigerian Workers.