By IHECHINYERE CHIGEMERI-UWOM
UMUAHIA- The Abia Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Eze Chikamnayo, says that plans are underway to restore the accreditation of the Abia State Polytechnic, Aba within 30 days.
Chikamnayo said this on Thursday, while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the State Executive Council meeting at the Government House, Umuahia.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) on Tuesday announced the withdrawal of the polytechnic’s accreditation.
The board hinged its action on the outstanding 30 months arrears of staff salaries owed by the state government.
The development came barely two months after the Nigerian Universities Commission also withdrew the accreditation to the Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba, over some alleged “inadequacies”.
Chikamnayo said that the government would interface with NBTE, authorities and students of the polytechnic and stakeholders in order to address the issue on ground.
He said that the news of the withdrawal of the polytechnic’s accreditation came to the government as a shock.
He said that the institution as an autonomous entity was expected to adopt best practices in its operations.
“Since the inception of this government in 2015, a N90 million subvention has been given to the institution every month, amounting to N7.1 billion.
“At a point, the state government gave a N1 billion bailout fund to the institution.
“This is an institution that receives school fees, levies and caution fees.
“Therefore, it is expected that it will be able to pay salaries and allowances of staff.
“Their problem stems from poor management and over staffing.
“And whenever they are asked to downsize, the trade union would organise protests,” the commissioner further said.
He warned that disciplinary measures would be enforced against the board or management of any government-owned institution that failed in its duties.
He said that the government could not afford to face any form of embarrassment as a result of the ineptitude of a board or management of any such institution.
He also said that government had commenced a project for the establishment of a sports academy and youth skills acquisition centre at the Nsulu Games Village.
Chikamnayo said that the government had set up an inter-ministerial committee to ensure effective and prompt actualisation of the project.
He further said that government had resolved to build an entrepreneurship development institute to serve as a regulatory body.
He said that the institute would provide standardisation of skills through the issuance of certificates to graduate artisans.
The commissioner also spoke on government’s efforts to ensure adequate security in the state.
He said that the demolition carried out at the Lokpanta Cattle Market was not aimed at witchhunting anybody.
He argued that the exercise was intended to destroy structures that served as hideouts to criminal elements.
He also said that eight checkpoints would be established at strategic locations in the area to be manned by a joint task force. (NAN)