Ebonyi varsity VC denies resignation, accepts owing lecturers salaries

The Vice-Chancellor of Ebonyi State University, Prof. Chigozie Ogbu on Tuesday denied rumours of his resignation over allegations of owing salaries.

Recall that lecturers of the university embarked on strike in February 2020 over alleged accumulation of salaries, grinding activities of the University.

Prof Ogbu, who was the former Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, made this known while briefing journalists in Abakaliki.

He lamented the cutting down of the University’s subvention by the state governor, David Umahi, which according to him resulted in the debt of two months salaries to lecturers.

According to him: “We all woke up to the news like you heard, that the Vice-Chancellor has resigned but that is absolutely false in any way, intended or unintended.

“So, the Vice-Chancellor has not, has no intention to resign for any reason but let me explain to you what has led to this; you recall that either in February or March, all educational institutions were closed, the University included and you know the major source of income in the University are the students and at the time of the closure, students were just registering.

“A good number had registered, a good number had also not registered. So because of the fee collected, we were able to continue to pay salary until the end of May and that time, we met with the staff, with the unions and everybody and explained to them the handicap because we don’t collect fees again, there is no other source of getting money to pay school fees, the state government subvents the salaries.

“They’ve been paying their own subvention but internally because we don’t have money from students, the University cannot make up to join a portion of the salary.

“It was from June, we stopped paying salary and that’s where we are. Now, when the council became aware of this, we set up a committee to see what can be done to raise funds for the University.

“That committee worked with the union and other members of the Academia and came up with the report, which Thursday last week, was presented to the visitor to the University, the Governor of the state, Engr David Nweze Umahi.

“So on Thursday, that presentation was done by the Chairman of the Council; in that meeting, it was obvious that the Governor who had been saying that all institutions must make sacrifices in terms of reducing their wage bill, instructed that the University must go back and look at itself critically and see how they can sacrifice to reduce the salary, then know where else to help.

“You are aware that many institutions have reduced the salary, we should take our sister institution here in Ikwo, you know they have been receiving 85% off their salary since last year. And so they already thought that the University can make some sacrifices in terms of reducing their wage bill and then help in any area they can. So, that’s what transpired.

“For the past two(2) days, we’ve been working on our activities to see where we can reduce to be able to satisfy him, so he can give us some assistance to continue to pay salaries.

“So, there is nothing that necessitated anybody to think that the VC is resigning or is not happy because these are hard times for everybody, for the University and for other organizations and we all appreciate it and will do whatever we can to come out of it. There is no resignation of anybody here in the University, let alone the VC” he stated.

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