The hope of the Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU) to organize a maiden convocation for its first batch of graduates may be dashed, following a brewing crisis waiting to explode in the institution, our Paper can authoritatively report. This indication came to the fore during a meeting of some members of staff of the State-owned institution held last Tuesday at the Ikot Akpaden, Mkpat Enin Campus of the school. At the meeting were scores of newly employed staffers of both Obio Akpa and Mkpat Enin campuses of the school.
Our correspondent who monitored the meeting reported that the aggrieved workers were demanding payment of their over one year salaries. The workers complained that since they were employed by AKSU, in October, 2013, none of them had been paid salary. They lamented that most of them who live far away from the campuses found it difficult to pay their way to work. The workers who vowed to scuttle the planned maiden convocation of the school maintained that there was no way such occasion could hold while those who have labored to were yet to be paid.
Although he declined to give the total number of the affected staff in the entire work force of AKSU, one of the conveners of the meeting, who did not wish to be named in this report, while interacting with correspondent said the School’s Management, after much pressure, could only pay Leave Grant ,wondering how leave grants could be calculated without salaries being paid.
“As you could see, it was a meeting of members of Staff of this institution drawn from both the Obio Akpa and this (Akpaden) campuses. Why we gathered here was to deliberate on how we could reach out to the Akwa Ibom State Government in order to inform it of the non- payment of our salaries. We have been agitating that same be paid but instead, they came and paid leave grant without salaries. How did they arrive at the leave grant when they have not paid the main salaries? So we are going to protest by boycotting the upcoming convocation”, one of the conveners said.
Meanwhile, efforts to reach the school’s management proved abortive as at the time of going to press.