The Management of Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma in Edo State and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other affiliate bodies seem to be goading for attention of the Special visitation panel to the institution.
The panel, was set up by the State government to among other things, to look into the activities of the Management of the institution held its sitting on Thursday, amid high expectations.
The Management of the University on Thursday break silence, disclosing that the University was indebted to the tune of N840 million.
Mr. Edward Aihevba, Spokesman of the Institution, stated this while reacting to concern by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Chapter of the School is indebted to the tune of N1 billion.
He said the Institution would have become insolvent if it was not shutdown to academic activities, which paralyzed academic activities for over months.
Aihevba, explained that school fees from students make up half of the monthly salary of N420 million of workers, adding that with the outbreak of the dreaded disease, the school has not been able to pay salaries for the months of August and September 2020.
According to him, “We are owing two months of salaries. Our wage bill is N420 million monthly and only able to pay through school fees and subvention from the State government but with COVID-19, allocation from government has dwindled while the collection of school fees is zero. We are only able to pay through prudent management of resources. We are presently owing September and October salaries. We are owing N840 million and not N1 billion.”
But, the Chairman of ASUU, AAU, Prof. Monday Igbafen, has however said on Thursday that University under the leadership of the embattled Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ignatius Onimawo, is owing its Staff/ workforce more than N1 billion Naira as unpaid salaries, check-off dues and other deductions from Staff salaries.
He expressed concern, stating that as at the time of speaking, the University owes and is holding on to the check-off dues of more than N13 million naira, being amount deducted by the University as ASUU check-off dues.
He alleged that the University administration has also defaulted in paying more than N276,899,334.00 (Two Hundred and Seventy-six Million Eight Hundred and Ninety-Nine Thousand, Three Hundred and Thirty-four Naira only), being amount duly deducted by the University in favour of the University’s Lecturers Welfare Association and more than N20,193,983.00 (twenty million, One Hundred and Ninety-three thousand, Nine Hundred and Eighty-three Naira only), being amount deducted by the University in favour of ASUU ACADA Cooperative Society.
Speaking further the University’s ASUU chairman, alleged that more than N359,478,254.94 (three Hundred and fifty-nine Million, Four Hundred and Seventy-Eight Thousand, Two Hundred and Fifty-Four Naira, Ninety-Four kobo), is being held by the University Administration being amount duly deducted by the University in favour of the general Cooperative Society of the University’s workers.
“As it stands, these unpaid salaries and unremitted dues and sundry deductions amounts to more than N669,571, 571.94 (six hundred and sixty-nine million naira, Five Hundred and seventy-one Thousand, five Hundred and seventy-one naira, ninety-four kobo), Dr. Igbafen said, adding that other Staff unions and organizations or Associations in the University have their own sad tales to tell about the huge debt the University owes them in form of check-off dues and other deductions running into millions of naira.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the University’s Chapter of National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), Mr. Bayo Jim Omoikhoje, alleged that the University Administration is owing his Union more than N16,342,648.00 (sixteen million, Three Hundred and Forty Two Thousand, six Hundred and Forty Eight Naira only) being amount deducted by the University as NAAT check-off dues.
“We, as a Union, hitherto have exercised a rare restraint from agitation because of the recent tensed political situation in our dear state, which has, however, been doused by the successful conduct of the gubernatorial election of September 19, 2020.
“We are delighted that the election ended on a good note. The right time has therefore come to call on the Council and the state government to be responsive to the plight of workers and other several problems and challenges in the University”, he said.