By Bukar Bolori
Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, has given approval for the employment of 20 children of staff of the state owned Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri, most of whose parents died while working for the school.
The governor gave the approval on Wednesday during a supervisory and interactive visit to the institution.
The Governor also addressed multiple challenges after he sought to know from the academic and non-academic staff of the polytechnic, the challenges they were facing, all of which they listed.
Zulum, a University Professor was a student of the polytechnic from 1986 to 1988 for National Diploma in Irrigation Engineering, he later became the rector of the school from 2011 to 2015.
As a visitor, overseeing the institution he had paid countless visits to the polytechnic either to oversee activities, commission projects or to lay foundation stones.
At Wednesday’s visit, Zulum directed a committee he had constituted from amongst staff of the school to fairly select 20 children of staff particularly those of deceased parents, after determining their qualifications for automatic employment as lecturers, instructors and other categories.
He also indicated readiness to approve other means to support families of staff.
Before those 20 jobs to staffers’ children were granted, he had sat down to listen to numerous challenges enumerated by the polytechnic’s rector, Dr Modu Kyari and those listed by the school’s chairman, Academic Staff Union of Polytechnic (ASUP) AbdulRahman Shettima, former Chairman of Non- Academic Staff of Polytechnic (NASUP), Musa Chiroma as well as the chairman, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP), Abba-Aji Suleiman.
The Governor, in responses to the challenges raised differently by the three union representatives, directed the state’s commissioner of finance to within 24 hours, remit about N12m to the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, which was deducted from salaries for the purpose of union dues.
Zulum also directed the SSG to immediately convey approval for inclusion of two staff said to have been excluded from a new policy of a 65-years retirement age, which was extended from 60 years.
He also directed the state’s commissioner for Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Babagana Mustapha to compile all other issues raised by management and union representatives of the polytechnic for presentation to him.
Zulum promised to within two weeks, address those issues that could be dealt with while on others, he would work with union leaders to find ways of addressing them through the considerations of prevailing realities.
Responding to challenges of housing faced by staff, he announced plans to approve the construction of 100 houses for staff of the polytechnic.
He, however, noted that such a project can only be started after the 2023 electioneering period.
The Governor promised the inclusion of Ramat Polytechnic staff during considerations for allocation of Government estates which are either being constructed and nearing completion or those that have been evacuated by internally displaced persons.
He also announced that he hopes to approve the payment of promotional benefits by January 2023 which will be in three months time.
He explained that problems of shortage of finances in the midst of security and humanitarian interventions are amongst his drawbacks, but nevertheless promised that Government will look at its finances with a view to paying promotional benefits in the coming year.