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Students, staff urge NUC to shutdown Paul University Awka over 28 months arrears


Some staff and students of Paul University Awka have urged the National Universities Commission (NUC) to shut down the institution over it inability to pay off 28 months arrears of salaries and other failed projects.

Two months ago, the Primate Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, His Grace Henry Ndukuba had at inauguration of the Law faculty of the University which was built and donated by the Archbishop Province of the Niger and Anglican Bishop of Awka , Most Reverend Alexander Chibuzo Ibezim, promised to look into the salary of the workers as every worker deserves his wage. 

But two months later, the promise had not been fulfilled by stakeholders claiming ownership of the university, including 55 dioceses east of the Niger presided over by Archbishops ,Bishops, Board Of Trustees, Council and the Management of the University.

The staff described the agony they are passing through as uncalled for, inhuman, and unchristian ,alleging further that they were being subjected to forced labour without pay, intimidation and worst human degradation ever recorded in labour history.

One of the staff Jak Kofro (not real name) claimed that the staff are owed huge salaries arrears including contract staff: 25 months, adjunct staff: 28 months and regular staff 16 months.

 The staff said despite these arrears of salaries that have reduced the entire staff to objects of caricature, the Board of trustees, the Governing Council and Management of the University arose from a joint meeting recently and agreed to terminate the appointment of any staff that goes on strike as a result of arrears  owed them, describing it as wickedness in high places and an act unbecoming of people who call themselves Christians. 

Other staff who spoke to our correspondent admitted that the Vice- Chancellor Ven Prof. Obiora Nwosu though new has tried in some areas and his efforts glaring that he wouldn't like to owe but handicapped due to resources to do the needful.

They also called for an external auditor to audit the University Account as they suspected that some principal staff might be misappropriating or mismanaging the meagre resources while the teaching staff and their families are being starved to death due to salary arrears.

They revealed that most of the staff (contract, adjunct and regular) agreed that the ongoing exams should be stopped until 3 months salaries are paid.

 They further argued that once the exams are over, no salary would be paid again this year. He recounted the experience of last year December Holiday that staff vacated without a salary. Also, they claimed that lack of diplomacy on the part of the Vice- chancellor has caused more harm than good.

A source close to the Vice-chancellor, said that the management should have leveraged on the Primate’s promises during the commissioning of Law faculty, to obtain sufficient funds to clear the backlog of salary arrears, instead of finding faults with the staff because they were asking for their long overdue salaries.

Attempts to hear from the University Vice-Chancellor, Prof Obiorah Nwosu, was not successful. Contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the Institution, Sir Ikechukwu Abana, described the report as a mere speculation while declining further comment on the matter.

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