Secret recruitment: ASUP Bida embarks on indefinite strike over query

By Tina George, Minna

The Federal Polytechnic Bida Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) has embarked on an indefinite strike over an administrative query issued to its executives. This followed an open letter written to the Accountant General of the Federation over the ‘secret’ recruitment of 141 new staff.

The Union has vowed not to return to the lecture rooms until the query is withdrawn and the issues raised in the open letters are addressed. 

The decision to embark on the indefinite strike was taken during an emergency meeting of ASUP Bida over the administrative query which was received on Friday. 

The Federal Polytechnic Bida chapter of ASUP had written an open letter to the Accountant General of the Federation describing a recent ‘secret’ recruitment by the management as fraudulent and does not serve the needs of the various departments of the institution.

The open letter which was signed by the Chairman, Federal Polytechnic Bida Chapter of ASUP, Dr. Umar Saganuwan stated that the Union had declared that it is not justifiable for the institution to recruit new staff especially when the staff has not been paid full salaries and other allowances since July 2019.

Saganuwan said an institution who claimed to have a shortfall in its monthly allocation which resulted in the payment of half salaries and non-payment of allowances is not justified in its recruitment of new staff. 

Disclosing the suspicious aspect of the recruitment, ASUP said that the appointment letters of the newly recruited staff were backdated to 7th December 2018 while they were documented in October 2019 and have been asked to assume duties in January 2020.

“Sir, it may interest you to know that apart from other allowances unjustifiable owned staff of this institution for several months and as I’d this is not enough, the staff have also not enjoyed payment of their full salary s since July 2019 due to management claims of shortfall in the monthly allocation to the institution. 

“Coincidentally, while we are still grappling to come to terms with the reality of the  pains inflicted on us by the twin issue of the shortfall of personnel emoluments and non payment of our allowances, we were greeted by the rude shock of secret and fraudulent recruitment (replacement) of over 141 staff by the management and which dies not serve the needs of the various departments. 

“The questions we are asking are, what is the justification of the massive recruitment when the same institution cannot pay its existing workforce? Why was the appointment secretly dine against all known procedures and rules for such exercise? 

“Why were the appointment letters of the newly recruited staff backdated to 7th December 2018 while they were documented in October 2019 and they are to assume duties in January 2020. What are they hiding?”, the open letter read.

The management of the Federal Polytechnic Bida was said to be embarrassed by the open letter and was said to have issued letters of queries to the executives of the ASUP.

In the Query signed by the Deputy Registrar, Hussaini Muhammad Enagi said that the open letter written to the Accountant General of the Federation contained false claims. 

The query stated that the recruitment exercise was transparently conducted and had the backing it the council. 

“The letter contained false claim against the recruitment exercise which was transparently conducted starting from obtaining council permission up to the point of being issued with a certificate of compliance by the Federal Character commission”, the query read. 

The query further stated that the ASUP Chairman of flaunted the internal grievance procedure by writing a direct letter to the Accountant General of the Federation. 

Efforts to get the Deputy Registrar and the Public Relations Officer (PRO) to react to this development proved abortive as the Deputy Registrar did not reply or return calls and text messages sent to him while the PRO number was not available as at the time of filing this report. 

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