UNICAL VC Berates Protesting Staff For Distorting Facts Over Non-payment Of Salary

Oct 30, 2023 - 10:59
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UNICAL VC Berates Protesting Staff For Distorting Facts Over Non-payment Of Salary

Abraham UKPA

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), Prof. Florence Obi, has berated protesting staff for distorting facts and misleading the public on issue of non- payment of salary.

A group of people alleged to be non-academic staff of the institution at the weekend  protested the non-payment of their salaries and other benefits.

The group claimed that they had been employed since 2019/2020 by the institution without being paid and staged a peaceful protest asking the university authourities to payroll them. 

Speaking during the protest, the leader of the aggrieved staff, Mr. Emmanuel Ayeni stated that as law-abiding citizens, they were in a lot of meetings culminating about eight(8) times in which only the academic staff of the institution, who were having the same challenge were pay-rolled, leaving them to their fates.  

Ayeni also alleged that in their last meeting, they and the academic staff were asked to have a common front and harmonize their list, but none of their names except for the academic staff were shortlisted to be paid.

Reacting to the issues raised, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Florence Banku Obi, said as much as she empathizes with the aggrieved protesters, facts must be stated bare as there are. 

Prof. Obi who commended the speaker for calling on the federal government to weigh into their issue, said their problem is not within the power of the University to solve while stating that Universities no longer have the power to payroll staff. 

"Facts must be put straight when we want to talk. Since not everyone has been able to follow you to Abuja when you come to talk to them, tell them the truth about what happened. 

"If it were within the power of the University of Calabar's Vice Chancellor to payroll you and you think having been 8 times summoned before the Senate, Minister of Education, Minister of Finance, NUC, Head of Service, Federal Character Commission which were invited and represented, would they not have sent us money and directed us to pay"

The VC further advised the aggrieved staff to channel their powers and energies appropriately as their problem has to do with naira and kobo and without budgetary provisions, nothing could be done. 

The VC disclosed that  some of the staff were not paid rolled for over a year now  year after their employment by the previous administration is that the University exceeded her employment quota. 

"We had 1000 quota to employ, we went ahead and employed more than 2000 people and we don't have where to pay roll them.

"Why academic staff were payrolled leaving the non-academic staff is because the academic staff were given a waiver because in the 1000 quota that was given, the University was to employ 637 Academic staff and 333 Non-Academic staff, but the University went ahead and employed more than 1,800 Non-academic staff without meeting up the 637 quotas for Academic Staff.  Hence, the Director General, Budget Office, the Head of Service and others agreed to bend backward to absorb the 124 Academic Staff who earlier petitioned.

"I have also sent a letter requesting the IPPIS to come and capture the 124 Academic staff, 47 others who came thereafter without budgetary provision from the budget office will follow immediately after them," she stated.