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Aderinola Bunmi
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The Federal Polytechnic, Ekowe, Bayelsa State, has said that it is expecting the release of N469,000,000 through the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit, which is earmarked for salary shortfall of its workers.

The management of the polytechnic also said it was tackling “myriads issues including an over-bloated workforce, improper placement of workers, upgrading of workers without financial backing and inadequate budgetary appropriation.”

The polytechnic authorities stated this on Monday, while reacting to claims by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics that the institution was fraught with poor administration and lapses.

Our correspondent had reported on Monday that SSANIP threatened to embark on a nationwide strike, unless the Federal Government looked into the situation at the polytechnic.

The union had claimed that some of its members were being owed several months’ salaries, while others were placed on indefinite suspension.

But the management of the polytechnic, in a statement released on Monday and made available to our correspondent by the Rector, Dr Timi Seiyaboh, said the claims by the union were not true, as it was still expected N469m from PICA to settle the salary shortfalls.

The management said the frequent intimidation by the workers’ union due to demands for full payment of salaries has “worsened the industrial situation in recent times.”

It said, “The management inherited myriads issues surrounding an over-bloated workforce in non-teaching sector, the improper placement of staff at point of entry and unauthorised migration that increased the salary burden.

“The management has made proper representation to the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit for the release of the sum of N469m earmarked for salary shortfall. The payment is yet to be received on the platforms of the polytechnic and this fact has been made known to the unions and PICA. To this end, PICA representative came for an assessment of the nominal roll and the financial records. The crying foul of the union leadership that the money is with the polytechnic is a ruse.

“The management is committed to resolving issues of irregularities in staff appointment, promotion, placements and verification of results to ensure that only genuine people are in the system.”

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