As teaching staff in Nigerian Polytechnics embarked on an indefinite strike, the Rector, Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, Architect Sanusi Waziri Gumau has said the institution does not joke with the issue of staff welfare.The Rector made the assertion while speaking at the opening ceremony of the 58th National Executive Committee and General Executive Committee (NEC/GEC) of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP) being hosted by the Federal Polytechnic Bauchi.
Architect Sanusi Waziri Gumau said though the institution was in economic recession, staff of the Polytechnic were witnesses to “how we struggle to pay the monthly peculiar/academic allowance as and when due”, said the Rector, adding that “we shall continue to run an administration that is honest, transparent and accountable, as a counter measure to rumour mongering. In his speech, national president of SSANIP, Comrade Sunday Sabo decried what he described as the gradual taking over of administrative responsibilities by the teaching staff in most Nigerian polytechnics and warned that they were ready for a showdown with Rectors that are bent on relegating their members to the background in their institutions.
Comrade Sunday Sabo used the occasion to call on the federal government to dust the file of the report of presidential committee on needs assessment of Nigerian polytechnics’ which he said when implemented, Nigerian polytechnics will be the envy of their counterparts across the globe. While charging polytechnics chief executives to attach priority to training and retraining of their members as a way of boosting employee productivity, the SSANIP national president also frowned at the continuous unequal treatment meted to polytechnic graduates against their university counterparts in some ministries, departments and agencies as well as banks and regretted how productivity is sacrificed for certificate in Nigeria.
The chairman of the occasion and Galadiman Bauchi, Surveyor Ibrahim Saidu Jahun while making his comments said as a polytechnic graduate and former Rector of a federal polytechnic, he was sure that technical and vocational education technology remains the only way out of unemployment for Nigeria and promised to channel the genuine grievances of the senior non-teaching staff of the Nigerian polytechnics to appropriate authorities for necessary action. The galadiman Bauchi said as against what most employers of labour in Nigeria think that polytechnics were established to provide “middle manpower” needs of MDAs, they are, according to their new Scheme of Service empowered to provide “technical manpower” which he said is the major driver of the country’s socio-economic development.