Posted by Charles Iwuoha, Enugu | 10 December 2018 | 1,585 times
The Management of Ebonyi State University (EBSU) Abakaliki has responded to the statement credited to the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2019 general elections, Senator Sunday Ogbuoji, that he would reinstate the sacked staff of the state university if elected governor of the state.
The governorship hopeful made the statement recently in his campaign office while flagging off his campaign where he also criticised harshly the state government for disengaging the workers of the university.
But briefing Journalists at the main campus of the university alongside other management staff of the university, the Vice Chancellor and former Deputy Governor of the state, Prof. Chigozie Ogbu, frowned at Senator Ogbuoji’s comment.
Ogbu urged the APC governorship candidate to understand the fact that the university is autonomous and regulated by National University Commission (NUC) and a set of rules and certainly, not by any politician.
“The politicians should find another ground to spread their falsehood and leave the university in peace,” Ogbu added.
The University Management had recently disengaged 63 of its pensionable staff and the withdrawal of extension of services of 46 contract and 90 adjunct academic staff following staff audit ordered by the governing council of the university.
The Vice-Chancellor, who explained the reasons behind the disengagement of the workers, noted that the rumour making round that the university sacked over 300 staff was a total falsehood and a figment of those peddling it.
According to Ogbu, the university has the highest number of staff among the universities within the region and its salary wage bill is over 345 million naira every month and it was finding it extremely difficult to sustain the payment.
He said it was on the process of finding lasting solution to the problem that the university embarked on staff audit as ordered by the university governing council.
The Vice-Chancellor said the workers have disengaged sequel to the findings and recommendation of the staff audit committee as approved by the university governing council.
He added that the 63 pensionable workers affected indulged in irregularities that contravened the extant regulations of the university.
According to him, “In the university system, there are two categories of workers the non-pensionable, including the Contract and Adjunct staff, are those who have retired after the age of 70 years or have primary employment in other places.
“The Council, therefore, approved the disengagement of 46 and 90 academic staff, most of whom are 75-80 years of age. This will create room for young Professors and academics including many qualified Ebonyians who are yet to get employment. This will also put the university in a better standing before our foreign university collaborators who have advised us to get younger dynamic academics, in line with global best practices.
“The second category of staff who were recommended for disengagement are 63 in number, and nowhere near the exaggerated number in the social media. These staff were disengaged on the basis of findings of overstay in service, non-retirement after the age of 65/70, falsification of records of age and qualifications.
“Each staff was confronted with the finding in his/her records and they had no evidence to counter the findings of the committee. They were disengaged without any further changes.”
Ogbu assured that contrary to the insinuations in some quarters that the affected staff were disengaged in order to bring in his cronies, the university under his watch would not tolerate any sectional activity, saying, he believes in equal treatment of all Ebonyians.
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