Bauchi Higher Institution Workers Reject Bala’s Inclusion Into ‘Illusionary’ Pension Scheme

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the Academic and Nonacademic Staff Unions of Bauchi State-owned tertiary institutions have kicked Bauchi State Government’s attempt to forcefully include its members into the controversial Contributory Pension Scheme.

Chairman of JAC Abdulkadir Mohammed said this at a press conference in Bauchi.

He said the scheme is not too far fetch from being an illusion that does not fit any right-thinking Nigerian to join.

Mr Mohammed said his members were subjected to untold hardship, a trend that worsened the already compounded dificulty they are going through.

The JAC holds strong objection to the untimely imposition of our staff into the illusionary Contributory Pension Scheme, a venture that is being avoided by some Federal institutions due to untold hardships caused on workers,” he said.

While rejecting the proposed deductions from the salaries of his members for the Health contributory scheme otherwise called BASHMA, Mr Mohammed said in the interest of the aggrieved workers, the consultants in charge of salary administration in Bauchi state be disengaged.

The Unions expressed hope that Governor Bala Mohammed of the state will wade into the matter so as to stop it from degenerating into industrial disharmony.
He noted that for so long they have not been enjoying some of their entitlements such as Promotion implementation, yearly increment, and consequential adjustment among others.

He regretted while they are passing through such an unfortunate situation, their colleagues in other Colleges and Polytechnics are comfortably enjoying all.

According to him, it is also worrisome that some of his members are persistently omitted from the payroll despite the genuineness of their appointments and the verifications they had undergone without indictment.

The Chairman of the JAC who said a series of observations have been forwarded on their cases to appropriate authorities but to no avail expressed the belief that most of the problems are compounded by some ‘invisible consultants.

He described the action of such consultants as a move against the initial good intention of Governor Bala Mohammed towards cleansing ghost workers from the state payroll, without jeopardizing any genuine civil servant.

“It is evident that these ill-motive consultants who are nothing short of fault-finders are busy witch-hunting the workers in Bauchi state, thereby always searching and devising the means of pushing our members off the payroll or maintaining those removed for one plausible and unjustifiable excuse”, they alleged.

“For instance, cases of the wrong PSN, Dates of Birth, those that are wrongly claimed to be due for retirement and others with no any claim labelled against them were denied salaries despite documents tendered to clarify the issues, which were to the conviction of the authorities, A cursory look at their atrocities and their coworkers in the Treasury confirms them as saboteurs to the political aspiration of His Excellency to move to the next level”, the Chairman further alleged.

JAC urged the state government to be aware that their promotion in the tertiary institutions is not just tied to a waiting period but it involves conference presentations, journal publications, chapter publications, book publications, registration with professional bodies, and community development, among others.

“All of which are capital intensive and cause financial stress, especially with the devaluation of our currency and unprecedented inflation. Moreover, the highest-ranking staff are the pillars in achieving our accreditations at both NCE, National Diploma, Post Graduate Diploma, Higher National Diploma and Undergraduate programmes”, the Chairman further explained.

Mr Mohammed cautioned that with the deliberate frustration of the staff, there is no doubt that very soon tertiary Institutions in the state will begin to lose accreditation and consequently may not run some courses which according to them, will lead to their gradual collapse.

The Chairman who noted that JAC has written a series of letters of complaint added that the Governor must have been blocked from having first-hand information regarding their plights.

The JAC demanded that all its members with outstanding January to March 2022 salaries should be paid immediately, those owing salaries from 2019 to December 2021 should be settled within the month, as the claim remains that their pending salaries are on the ground.

The Union which also demanded that all cleared cases should remain stable as JAC can no longer accommodate temporary clearance added that any problem established should appropriately be communicated to the concerned staff for rectification.

They called for immediate resumption of promotion implementation, and annual increments which were abruptly stopped without any official communication for more than two years.

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