ASUU disputes claims of resolved salary matter at AAU, Ekpoma

• Urges Edo govt to call AVC to order

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, chapter, has dismissed as untrue, the claims by the Edo State Government that it had resolved all salary issues in the state-owned institution, saying that the matter was far from being resolved.

In a statement made available to newsmen in Benin City on Sunday, the University’s Chapter of ASUU faulted and condemned the statement credited to Edo State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Mr Chris Osa Nehikhare on Thursday, September 29, 2022, to the effect that the salaries of staff in the University had been paid up to August 2022 and that the University was running smoothly.

The Union insisted that the Edo State Government “is in default of payment of more than N4 billion of arrears of emoluments (salaries, trade unions’ check-off dues, cooperative savings and other deductions) in the University.

Rising from the Congress on Friday at Ekpoma, the University Chapter of ASUU described the commissioner’s statement as laughable and misleading, ‘the claims that the 2022 salaries have been paid (willy-nilly) to staff even prior to the commencement of the ongoing nation-wide strike by the Union.

“There are even some members of staff who have not been paid their January and February 2022 salaries when there was no strike, and since then the University has been effecting selective and amputated payment of salaries to staff,” the Union declared.

In the press statement signed by Dr Cyril Oziegbe Onogbosele and Dr Willam Odion, the University’s Chairman and Assistant Secretary of ASUU respectively, the union stated that workers (academic and non-academic staff) of the University were being owed twenty-four (24) months (September 2020 to September 2022) of arrears of emoluments which included salaries, trade unions’ check-off dues and other deductions.

The Union recalled that no fewer than 350 staff of the University had their salaries suddenly stopped on the arbitrary order or directive of the University’s Special Intervention Team (SIT) without any form of query or existing disciplinary action instituted against the affected individual staff.

Hence the non-payment of their January and February salaries by the University Management, with no specific reason or explanation offered to date, to the affected staff.

The Union counselled the Edo State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation to carry out an independent investigation about the happenings in the university and to stop relying on distorted and manipulated report of the situation in the university.

According to the Union, “instead of resolving the problem, the university administration and government agents have chosen the use of propaganda, falsehood and lies to conceal the truth about the situation of things in the University.”

The also Union stated that the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation should have asked himself and the university management what had become of the Edo State Government’s directive of June 8 this year for the immediate payment of all outstanding salaries in the University – a directive which was obeyed in gross default.

The Union expressed dismay over the deliberate refusal of the Acting Vice-Chancellor (AVC) of the University, Professor Asomwan Sonnie Adagbonyin, to comply with the Edo State Government’s directive which directed the AVC and the university administration to pay all outstanding emoluments of workers in the University with effect from June 8, 2022.

The Union also took on the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation on his claim that the university was running smoothly and that the university’s ASUU had opted out of the ongoing nationwide strike by the union.

The AAU chapter of ASUU asserted that a look at the university would show that all is not well, and accused the university management of fraudulently running two separate academic sessions (2020/2021 and 2021/2022) simultaneously when the old academic session was far from being concluded.

The union insisted that the crisis situation on the ground did not warrant the commencement of a new academic session, stressing that besides the fact that its members were still on strike, the first semester results were yet to be submitted and moderated and that many courses of the old academic session (2nd Semester) were yet to be taught and examined.

The Union further disclosed that many students across various departments and faculties had not commenced or concluded their research projects, seminars and viva voce/defense and that the University Senate had not considered and approved results for the old academic session before the commencement of a new academic session.

The Union, however, condemned in strong terms, the ongoing academic fraud exemplified by the cases in the Departments of Sociology, Animal Science and some others where recruitments were done overnight and the same new lecturers were mandated to conduct examinations on courses they did not teach.

“ASUU, in particular, had earlier denounced the conduct of examinations in some courses by the University Administration in breach of regulatory/professional guidelines and the University’s own extant rules and regulations on students’ lectures and examinations, but the University authorities continue to turn deaf ears”.

It further stated: “This is academic mockery which will, in the final analysis, demarket and devalue the certificates being issued and awarded by the University”, the Union said.

The Union maintained that all was not well with the University and insisted that the sad development in the University was a result of the desperation of the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adagbonyin, “who is desperately installing the self-sustenance policy, through running the University through force and deception, in order to snag the support of the state government.

The Union decried what it described as “the ongoing academic aberrations in the administration of degree programmes in the University,” stating that if unchecked, it would lead to mass production of knowledge-empty graduates with damaging implications for societal development and transformation.


ASUU disputes claims of resolved salary matter at AAU, Ekpoma

ASUU disputes claims of resolved salary matter at AAU, Ekpoma

ASUU disputes claims of resolved salary matter at AAU, Ekpoma

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