Factional staff of the Akwa Ibom State University Ikot Akpaden, in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area of the state on Tuesday, shut down the institution over payment of half salary as well as non-payment of allowances by the university authority.
The aggrieved staff barricaded the entrance of the campus displaying placards with various inscriptions such as; pay us our peculiarities allowances, we are tired of half salaries, why treating us as beggars? amongst others.
The protesting staff said they resolved to embark on the protest due to illegal deductions of their salaries and non payment of staff peculiarities allowances.
However, when the vice chancellor of the university, Prof. Eno Ibanga, was contacted, he said, “I came to the office this morning and saw the gate locked. According to our law, before you down tools, you have to tell the Chief executive, which in this case is the University Management what their grievances were but they did not.
“The union leaders are involved but when I accosted them, they tried to deny it. All the unions in the University have factions, it is the dissidents that are leading the protest except NASU whose Chairman and Secretary are involved.
The genesis of this protest is that the union went to the government for negotiations on the minimum wage. Government approved the minimum wage table and gave to me. It is the implementation of this table that they said I should have added something. But I said no, when a government gives you a table to implement, you pay to the latter, what should I add? I cannot sit in my office and generate a new table.
When this happened, I called all the unions and discussed with them. This is the table approved and note, each union sent a representative to this negotiations with the government before this table came out.
Because of this new minimum wage table, some people are underpaid and they have some shortage. We wrote back to government to tell them that some people are short paid. I asked the registrar to send out a circular that there are some disagreements on this table but let us pay what we have, when they have brought out changes, we will keep and if they are any arrears, we pay.
But I came this morning, they locked the gate and started this protest. I have reported to government and they have already invited them for meeting with the head of service tomorrow.”