Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar
Staff of the Cross River University of Technology, CRUTECH, are lamenting over the non-payment of salaries, promotion arrears, and what they describe as abandoned state of the university by the state government.
TNN gathered that most of the issues range from policy formulation and implementation, not having a substantive vice chancellor for more than one year which they believe hurts both the management and entire university.
To them, this shows lack of seriousness on the part of the university, especially in signing of students’ certificates and results by various Vice Chancellors within the space of two months.
The staff who spoke through the various union leaders of the university; Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, Non-Academic Staff Union, NASU and National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT said they had been forsaken by the state government.
NASU secretary, Ina I. Egoma said in an interview that “the welfare of staff in CRUTECH for now is very, very poor. Just to concentrate on the recent development; for the past three months now staff have not got their salaries.
When we asked to know they said our subvention has been cut off by the government. Initially, government use to give us subvention of 169 million but graciously our able governor came and increased the subvention from 169 to 215 million to enable CRUTECH be paid salaries.
“This was done for a period of time but for now the bill has increased tremendously again and it come to happen that this present acting Vice Chancellor (VC) that has come has said that instead of 215 that was captured for subvention, now we have 188 million which cannot even pay net salaries.
“So we don’t know and our staff are dying, since this acting VC we have had 10 deaths ranging from junior staff to academic staff. Some slump; some, other minor sicknesses that would have been taken care of by the management, but there is no finance to manage the situation and if you go round this school, it’s bushy pending this pandemic.
“This is the state owned university and so we need the intervention of the state if you look at the structures around here, we don’t have any structure that is constructed by the state government, the government has not one day erected any building in this place. All this is sponsored by TETFUND, not the state government. We are only living by state government promises. So, the only saviour we have is this present governor who increased but now has reduced it”.
He revealed that there was a time the university staff forfeited over two billion to government, saying they have cancelled the debt that the government should use it for development. He added that the arrears have risen again.
“Nothing is coming; we are trying to manage ourselves. You see a cleaner even bringing bucket from his house to come and flush toilet in the school which is not supposed to be so. And to crown it all, for the past one year and six months, we have been placed on acting capacity of VC so we don’t know whether the government wants to use this school as a testing center for Vice Chancellors. So we want the government to look into this matter, either you give us a substantive VC or you close down the school if it cannot be managed”, he voiced out.
On his part, SSANU Chairman, Agbong Enya Ekereke who also spoke through his Secretary, Comrade Opoh Julius Idagwu narrated similar experiences: “The only thing you can refer to as welfare in CRUTECH is salary which does not come as and when due. For 3 months now no salaries and the worst thing that has happened to CRUTECH is that the salary subvention has been slashed from 215 million to 188 million and no reason has been given up till date. And up till now no tangible statement has come from the government.
“Infrastructural development is completely zero. We have epileptic power supply in CRUTECH as well as in staff quarters. The security is very porous. You talk of flood, flood is everywhere. The government is not interested and that boils down to paucity of funds.”