The National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has withdrawn the accreditation status of the Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, due to the non-payment of staff salaries and allowances for over 30 months.
The Board announced the withdrawal on Tuesday in a statement by the NBTE’s Head, Media Department, Fatima Abubakar.
Board took the decision when it realised that the management of Abia State Polytechnic was not committed to offsetting the arrears and ensuring regular payment of salaries of its staff.
The Board said that, on several occasions, it had warned the management of the institution that “regular payment of salary is one of the key components of the Board’s normative instruments for quality assurance in the polytechnics, and Technical & Vocational Education and Training institutions under her purview.
“The Board had drawn the attention of the polytechnic to the dangers of non-payment of salaries, including the suspension of quality assurance visits.
“The Governing Council and management of the polytechnic made several failed promises to settle the backlog of salary arrears and ensure regular payment of staff salaries.
“The Board went the extra mile of writing His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, informing him of the dire situation of the polytechnic but all to no avail.”
NBTE said its decision to withdraw the accreditation status of the polytechnic is to safeguard the quality assurance mechanism of the Board and to ensure that students are not left at the mercy of demoralized staff that may resort to under the table practices to survive.
The board warned the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) that no product of the Abia State Polytechnic should be mobilised for national service until the management of the polytechnic resolve the issue of nonpayment of salary to its staffers, while the Board promised to notify NYSC once the accreditation status of the polytechnic is restored.
It said that the notice of the withdrawal of the accreditation status of Abia State Polythechnic has been sent to Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and Industrial Training Fund (ITF) and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) in order to stop any official transaction with the polytechnic by those organisations.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.