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Over 100 Benue varsity lecturers decry non-payment of nine-month salaries

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Over 100 lecturers employed by the management of the Benue State University (BSU), Makurdi, in November 2019 are being owed nine months salaries, as they have not been paid since their engagement.

Some of the lecturers, who spoke with The Guardian but pleaded anonymity to avoid being victimised by the university management, said they have turned to beggars as they struggle to feed and take care of their families.

“Some of us resigned from our previous jobs to take up this appointment immediately, while others resumed in December and January 2020.

“It is even more troublesome with this COVID-19 lockdown with no palliative from both the university and state government. Please, the media should help us to verify this news and call the authority to order. You are the voice of the voiceless. Please come to our rescue.

“On Tuesday, July 21, 2020, there were rumours that the state government has given orders to the Chairman, Governing Council, of the university to pay us with immediate effect. This statement seems to be a mere rumour or political statement.

“We learnt the payment voucher for July salaries for BSU staff is ready but still we the new staff were not captured, as the state government has not provided funds. If this is true, this would make it the ninth month we have been employed without a salary,” they added.

In a sharp reaction to the cries of the lecturers, Governor Samuel Ortom, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, stressed that the monthly subvention the university receives from the state government has not reduced, adding that the salaries of the new staff were factored in the allocations.

He, therefore, said there was no reason for non-payment of the affected lecturers.

The governor ordered the BSU management to unfailingly pay the new lecturers their salaries this month, noting that the approval given to them to engage new staff was based on their request to only replace academic staff that had retired.

Commenting on the issue, the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the university, Mr. Tser Vanger, said the state government pays all the staff of the university, adding that if the governor, as the Visitor of the university gives all the necessary directives, the lecturers would be paid.


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