The Delta state commissioner for higher education, Jude Sinebe, on Monday, said that two principal officers of the Delta state polytechnic, Ogwashi Uku were sacked for their involvement in employment racketeering. The two sacked officers are the registrar, Collins Onyewenu and the bursar of the institution.
The commissioner spoke when he took his turn to address journalists at the state ministerial press briefing on the activities and achievements of his ministry held at the conference hall of the ministry of information in Asaba.
He said the affected officers connived and subverted due process in the employment of staff for the polytechnic, hence the government found them unworthy to remain as staff in the polytechnic, thereby relieving them of their employment.
According to the commissioner, the officers went about the employment against the approval of the state governor saying: It’s only the governor that can give approval for employment. The governor gave approval to employ 20 staff but they took over 200. And from my investigation, money also exchanged hands.
“About 11 others were also involved in the process, some in the office of the head of service, some in the computer room. The news went round and all those involved were asked to leave, because it was an illegal act. They needed to be penalized for others to learn.”
He explained that the affected officers who were asked to resign also forfeited all their retirement entitlements, saying the measure was to guide against impunity and deter others from carrying their jobs without observing due process.
But responding to a question on the state government collecting 20 percent from the revenue generated from the institutions but does not give subvention to the schools, the commissioner denied the allegation, saying such allegation was a big matter as it was not true.
But independent investigation revealed that the state government collects 20 percent from the institutions, whether legally or illegally remains a matter of conjecture.
A staff of one of the three polytechnics, who confided in Emeraldng.com said: “If I tell my colleagues this one, they will just laugh at the commissioner because they collect 20 percent from the schools.”
The commissioner faulted parents who could not pay school fees regularly, saying they are contributing to the downward trend in the revenue generation from the schools, explaining that rather than taking money from the schools, the government gives them money to aid their activities.
Specifically he said: “If Ogwashi Uku poly generates 250m a year, I must tell you that every month, we give them one million naira impress. If I have my way as the commissioner I will say stop it. But it is their right. So, it is not correct to say the schools pay to government but government does not pay subvention to schools.
“Even convocation, last year the state government released N13m to DELSU for convocation. When somebody generates N1.6billion and you still give the person additional millions, does it not show you are responsible? That is what government is telling us. We know it is our school, you are getting money but take this one and add to yourself, that is what government is doing.”
He revealed that the state government gave permission to higher institutions to generate revenue and spend it on running their daily cost and embarking on infrastructural development.
The commissioner said that the state government had spent over N500million on accreditation of programmes in DELSU and that N30million was also released for the last convocation done in the school.
Sinebe assured that the senate building at the main campus of DELSU, Abraka would be completed as soon as funds were released.
He clarified that 70 years remained the retirement age for professors in universities and 65 years for other academic staff, while retirement age for academic staff in polytechnics and colleges of education was 65 years and other staff 60 years.