EducationNews

Nigeria on auto pilot, nobody running show, says SSANIP President

* Cites refusal to sanction 'under-performing' service chiefs as evidence of listlessness

By IHECHUKWU SUNDAY, Lagos

National President, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP), Mr. Philip Ogunsipe has described Nigeria as country on ‘auto pilot’, saying nobody is running the show in the country.

According to him, the country, therefore, needs to be rescued from the current situation.

Ogunsipe dropped the bombshell at SSANIP Zone F, South West meeting held at Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, which attracted zonal officers, chairmen and secretaries of senior workers of polytechnics in the South West.

“This is a government that is not performing in every areas of the economy. This is a government that has no central coordinating agencies. We have a government that is disjointed,” he lamented.

“One will expect ministers appointed by the president to brief him quarterly or annually.  Each minister is expected to be prepared note and brief him.  I want to believe that this does not exist because if it does exist, there would have been an improvement in governance.

“I am sure in the last six years; there is no feedback by the various ministries and agencies to the presidency.  That is why the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is on strike for eight months, no direct presidential intervention to address their demands.  The presidency is not even asking what the problems are.  Nigeria is on auto pilot and those saddled with governance needs to take urgent action.

“ASUU is on strike for eight months, the president is not bordered about the implication. The president is not saying anything. Security challenges everywhere and we not sayings that he has not tried. When people are clamouring that the service chiefs have over stayed, changed them. We are not the one to appoint new ones. It is still the responsibility of the president to appoint new ones.”

Mr. Philip Adebanjo Ogunsipe

Explaining further why he said the country was on auto pilot, Ogunsipe noted that for over one year, Nigerians have been calling for the sack of all the service chiefs because of the unabated security challenges in the country but the presidency has simply ignored such calls.

Ogunsipe said those calling for sack of the service chiefs are not asking to be allowed to appoint new ones, stating that “it is still the responsibility of the president to pick new ones if he listens to the numerous calls by Nigerians.”

“When we say the country is on auto pilot, it seems the president is not concern about what is happening in the country.  Look the Zamfara Gold Mine issue and even the recent increase in pump price of petrol. When negotiation is still ongoing with labour leaders, government hiked petrol to N170. Obviously, the country is on auto pilot,” he agonised.

According to him, every sector of the economy is having issues without presidential intervention and wondered whom the ministers were accountable to.

He observed that the education sector was the worst hit because of the type of people at the helms of affairs of the ministry and its agencies, insisting that until the right people were appointed to man the sector, it would continue to experience total neglect.

Ogunsipe recalled that SSANIP wrote over 20 letters about its demands which were not attended to but government officials scrambled to invite the union after the expiration of the ultimatum.

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