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Ikpeazu Insists on Abiapoly Staff Reduction, Recalls Suspended Council, Mgt
Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia
Governor Okezie Ikpeazu says the ongoing reduction of the “over-bloated” workforce of the Abia State Polytechnic would be concluded to ensure efficiency in its operations.
He stated this while receiving the report of the Task Force on the restoration of the accreditation of the state polytechnic, saying that the institution would no longer be allowed to be dragged down by myriads of problems.
The task force headed by Prof Ikechi Mgbeoji was set up in the aftermath of the withdrawal of Abiapoly’s accreditation announced in July by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), citing 30 months of unpaid salaries.
The lost accreditation was recently restored.
Ikpeazu commended the Task Force for achieving its set goal, adding that he would implement its recommendations after going through the submitted report.
The Abia governor noted that the major challenges facing the institution had remained the inability of the management to reconcile their expenses with income,
To increase revenue, Ikpeazu said Abiapoly management should consider increasing the student population. He advised the management and Governing Council of Abiapoly to be alive to their duties and responsibilities, assuring them that his government would continue to meet its statutory obligation of paying subventions of the polytechnic.
The Abia chief executive reiterated that his administration did not owe the institution any subventions and urged the polytechnic students always to hold the management accountable.
The task force chairman, Prof Mgbeoji, said that the de-accreditation of Abia State Polytechnic had come as a rude shock to the state and commended Ikpeazu for bailing out the institution with N450 million to restore its accreditation.
Meanwhile, Ikpeazu has directed the immediate recall of the suspended members of the governing council and management of Abiapoly following the restoration of the institution’s accreditation by the NBTE.
In a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chris Ezem, the recalled management and council were asked to “ensure strict and prudent financial management of the institution’s finances.”
The statement added, “They should take steps to prune down excess wage bills and endeavour to engage in meaningful income generating ventures that will boost the Internally Generated Revenue of the institution in order to facilitate prompt and regular payment of workers’ salary.”