Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, has lost its accreditation from the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) for failing to pay staff salaries and allowances for over 30 months.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, a spokesperson for NBTE, Fatima Abubakar, said the accreditation was withdrawn because the polytechnic had not shown any commitment to offset the arrears and ensure regular payment of salaries.
“It is, therefore, with the utmost sense of responsibility that the board has decided to withdraw the accreditation status of the polytechnic to safeguard the quality assurance mechanism of the board,” Ms Abubakar said.
The NBTE official said the governing council and management of the polytechnic made several failed promises to settle the backlog of salary arrears.
She explained that regular salary payment was a key component of the board’s normative instruments for quality assurance in the polytechnics, technical, vocational education, and training (TVET) institutions.
Ms Abubakar also mentioned that the board had drawn the attention of the polytechnic’s management to the consequences of failing to pay salaries, including the suspension of quality assurance visits.
“The board went the extra mile of writing to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia state, informing him of the dire situation of the polytechnic, but all to no avail,” she added.
Meanwhile, the Board has warned the National Youth Service Corps that “no product of the Abia State Polytechnic should be mobilised for national service until the management of the polytechnic resolves the issue of nonpayment of salary to its staffers, while the Board promised to notify the NYSC once the accreditation status of the polytechnic is restored.”
The NBTE official said the board sent a similar notice of the withdrawal of the accreditation to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund and Industrial Training Fund to stop any official transaction with the polytechnic.
When contacted by ABN TV for a comment on the development, the Rector of Abia State Polytechnic, Professor Kalu Osonwa could not be reached.
Several calls on his phone line were not answered, and text messages were not responded to.