Nigerian Polytechnic Sacks 700 Staff to Meet Pay Rise
Ibadan Polytechnic in southwest Nigeria has dismissed 700 staff members, or one third of its workforce, in a cost-cutting measure taken to pay a new minimum wage, a newspaper said Sunday.
The workers were served their termination letters on Friday in what authorities at the institution called a "restructuring exercise", the Punch newspaper reported.
The daily said the move followed a recommendation by a panel that the school's 1,800-strong workforce, comprised of academic and non-academic staff, be cut by 40 percent.
The panel was set up to look into how the polytechnic could pay the new minimum wage of 5,500 naira (45 dollars) approved by the Nigerian government in May.
Many workers have been laid off since May when President Olusegun Obasanjo announced the new national wage.
Last month, Osun State government dismissed more than 5,000 staff, or one quarter of its workforce.
The government said in a statement that it "reluctantly and regretfully" issued the redundancy letters to the affected employees.
In Nigeria's economic capital Lagos, labor leaders say authorities plan to lay off 15,000 of the 40,000 workforce to meet a higher wage bill.
State officials have yet to react to the allegation -- LAGOS (AFP)
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