Staff of Abia State University, Uturu have again, lamented that the issues of their unpaid salaries and other benefits are still unattended to , more than one week after they hit the road in protest.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Abia State Governor, Barr Onyebuchi Ememanka had through his social media handle, disclosed that the sum of N400 million naira has been approved as bailout for the payment of salaries and benefits to verified staff of the state varsity.
But in a press release on Friday, 9 October, signed by the leader of the concerned ABSU staff, Dr Victor Nkemdirim and three other union leaders, the embattled workers described the claims of such payment as a lie, adding that the N400m, even if eventually released, was not enough to clear the backlog of wages owed the workers.
The release which was made available to newsmen in Umuahia, pointed out that it was strange for a government statement to claim that the university staff were never owed salaries, adding that the sum of N1.6b would be needed to address the problems of salaries alone, not to talk of other unpaid benefits.
The release read in part:
“The much advertised 400million naira, purportedly given to Abia State University as bailout is a mere scratch to the problem. We need N1.6b to address the issues of salaries alone, not to talk of other benefits and arrears,”
The ABSU staff further alleged that even before the school suspended studies early in the year due to Covid-19 outbreak, the institution suffered untold challenges of irregular release of subvention from the state government, adding that the school was grossly underfunded .
The release concluded by urging Abians and the general public to disregard the purported payment of bailout as it did not reflect the true position of things.
Leaders of Senior Staff of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Dr Ojo Ezichi Obasi, Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), Mr Onuoha Chika among others unionists signed the press release.