The Provost of Abia State College of Education Technical (ASCETA), Dr Philip Nto said workers (academic and non-academic staff) would be laid off to save the institution from ruin and also ensure excellence.
Dr Nto, who revealed this in our exclusive interview, blamed it on the bloated workforce but was quick to add that, “it is not aimed at anybody”.
He said the layoff will be based on three criteria and will only affect staff who fall within the classifications.
“First, we have to look at the unconfirmed staff; all the unconfirmed staff, both the ones I employed, who fall into this category would be relieved of their duties,” he said.
The second criterion he said, is based on academic qualifications.
“People without required academic qualification will be laid off. There is no way somebody with first degree, HND will be teaching B. Sc.”
The provost said he took over an institution where first degree holders and HND holders were academic staff. The affected persons, according to him, have been given two months to get their M.Sc.
“If they could not, they will also be relieved of their duties,” he said.
Age falsification, according to him, is the third criterion.
“You see somebody claiming to be 30 but merely looking at him, he is over 70. When you give them the work of a 30-year-old boy, they cannot do it.”
Dr Nto further said that his management, with the intervention of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, have settled the financial dispute with Abia State University (ABSU) that denied students enlistment into the National Youths Service Commission (NYSC) for six years.
“I inherited the problem and backlog of fees that were not remitted to ABSU. So, we started a discussion with ABSU management.
“We also started payment until the governor intervened and gave an express directive that ASCETA students be allowed to enlist for NYSC while we continue to pay. Right now, we are still paying as the funds come,” he added.
But this claim was, however, debunked by some ASCETA graduates who spoke to The Realm News. They said they were told to pay ABSU management the required percentage to pick up their certificates.
“ABSU management said they had no understanding with ASCETA authority. They said we have to pay the required percentage to pick up our certificates if we intend going for service.
“Those of us who got admission from ABSU directly were asked to pay N50,000 while direct entry applicants from ASCETA were asked to pay N75,000. ABSU management said they did not receive any money from ASCETA authority.”
Dr Nto, however, denied this allegation saying that students can go to their parents in the guise that they need to pay ABSU to collect money.
“Right now, we are still paying as the funds come. You know some of the students are fraudulent. As far as I know, nobody pays to ABSU.
“Tell them to report (those asking them to pay) because I am not in charge of ABSU. I have already written a letter to the Vice-Chancellor thanking him for allowing ASCETA students enlist for NYSC, while also assuring him that we will continue to pay.
“There is no way, after I wrote that letter, that ABSU would still go back and be demanding the fees. I am not in charge of ABSU. If some of the students would go and give money to anybody, that one is the person’s business.
“I have also addressed the students that I have cleared their problem with ABSU, that they should go and collect their papers,” he added.