Sunday, 5th December 2021
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Pay our outstanding salaries, University of Africa

Sir: The staff of the University of Africa, Toru-Orua owned by the Bayelsa State government hereby cry out over unpaid salaries. The staff which includes lecturers, non-academic, adjunct and sabbatical staff, numbering over 35 who were engaged between December 2019 and February 2020 are being owed salaries for 10, even 11 months, due to no…

Sir: The staff of the University of Africa, Toru-Orua owned by the Bayelsa State government hereby cry out over unpaid salaries.

The staff which includes lecturers, non-academic, adjunct and sabbatical staff, numbering over 35 who were engaged between December 2019 and February 2020 are being owed salaries for 10, even 11 months, due to no fault of theirs. All efforts to get management to listen to their plight have fallen on deaf ears. They have held several meetings with the Vice-Chancellor and other senior management staff but all they get from them were mere promises.

The worst part of it is that they were all made to resign from their former places of engagement as a prerequisite for their employment. How can a lecturer have a proper frame of mind for scholarship when he is being owed 11months salaries?

One of the aggrieved lecturers lamented that many of his colleagues can no longer pay their house rents “and our children’s school fees since we have not been paid for months.” They, therefore, called on the State Governor, Douye Diri, the former governor of the state, Seriake Dickson, and other well-meaning Bayelsans to come to their aid as they can no longer fend for their families. 

A top management staff, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, has assured the staff that management was not unmindful of the pains of the staff, and that things will soon get better.

The question that the aggrieved workers are asking is how long will they continue to wait before their salaries are paid? It should be recalled that the University of Africa and the Bayelsa State Medical University, Yenagoa were two universities set up by the immediate past governor, Dickson as part of an effort to assuage the educational deficit of the state. If starved of fund, the dream of setting up the university would have been defeated. With first-rate facilities, the university has the capacity to compete with its peers with the proper funding. Therefore, the genuine cry of the affected lecturers should be looked into by Diri.

Kenneth Ebipade wrote from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.