Lecturers at the Abia State University, Uturu, ABSU, have cried out over several months of unpaid wages.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities – ASUU – ABSU chapter – said its members have not been paid for 10 months. The universities teachers, therefore, are appealing to Abia Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu and other stakeholders in the state to come to their rescue over the unpaid salaries.
Victor Nkemdirim, chairperson of the union, in a press statement, urged the government to intervene and pay up the accumulated salaries.
“Our members are deeply pained because of the sorry state we have found ourselves in,’ he lamented.
“All we are asking for is the prompt and regular release of the subvention to the university as it is in the appropriation law of the state. At this point, we call on our colleague, His Excellency, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, PhD, to listen to the cries from his constituency.
“The peculiar situation where Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from student’s school fees would be used to pay salaries of staff is a case of self-destruction where the managers, instead of forcing the government to release subvention to the university, pretend that IGR can solve the litany of problems in the University. What a deceit!
“It is important to note and to bring to the attention of the public the pathetic condition afflicting lecturers in ABSU. We have never had it so rough and traumatic. The staff of ABSU are wondering what they did to earn such a fate / punishment. Who did we offend?
“For the avoidance of doubt, we are owed 10 long, tedious and agonizing months of arrears of salaries. The last salary payment received was that of September 2021.
“The non-implementation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement, resulting in arrears of 18 months, amounting to close to 1 billion naira, withheld cooperative and loan deductions, non-payment of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) since 2009 which most state universities are enjoying, no pension fund and many more.
“We wish to draw the attention of the students, parents, and the general public to the fact that 99% of the lecturers, apart from maybe the managers, have run out of stock of begging strategies.
“Most colleagues are hospitalized, there are some who could not even afford to go to patent medicine shops, some neither have access to their routine drugs nor eat one full square meal a day.
“Our children have been sent out of school, landlords are on us as a result of expired rents, our aged parents and other dependents have lost hopes. It’s that bad.
“On a note of appreciation, we thank His Excellency, the Governor of the state for the timely and effective response to the security challenges within and around the University community.
“We hope that the robust/active security architecture will arrest the situation to safeguard the lives and properties of both members of the university community and other innocent road users.”