Monday, October 17, 2011

Crisis looms in Abia poly over non-payment of workers’ salary

Industrial crisis looms at the Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, following the non-payment of workers’ salaries which will enter its third month by the end of October. The workers are therefore planning a show down with the management of the institution if the situation persists.
A reliable source told Daily Sun that workers of the institution were last paid salaries in July, blaming their predicament on inadequate subvention from the state government.

“The truth is that the subvention from the state government is not enough to even pay workers salary.”
The source hinted that prior to the last elections, the state government promised to increase the institution’s subvention to N100 million monthly whereas her monthly wages was N145 million. The source further hinted that since the promise was made, the institution had not received more than one quarter of N100 million and that it was not regular.

“So under this condition, we are in a quandary of how to get money to pay staff salaries since the internally generated revenue, which is mainly students’ school and other fees. Government wants us to rely on these but they are not enough to pay salaries not to talk of other things. “It was in order to meet up our financial obligations that the authorities recently increased school fees from N20,000 to N47,000 yet we are not there and it will not be in the interest of anybody to contemplate any increment in school fees again.

“Last month, the school borrowed N100 million from a new generation bank to be able to pay her workers salary for July. I don’t know how we are going to repay that loan. Months back, we used to borrow N50 million from the said bank to augment what we have to pay salaries and right now, our fate is hanging in the balance because if we don’t repay the loan, the bank may not be favourably disposed to advance further loan for our salary.”

Some of the workers who spoke with Daily Sun, while restating their desire to shut down the institution if nothing was done urgently to pay them their salaries, said the non-payment of the three months’ salary had made it difficult for them to meet up with the financial demands of their families.

They decried the situation in Abia poly and said it was difficult to enforce discipline under such condition as a hungry junior worker might be unable to carry out the directives of his senior.