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Recession: Ebonyi Gov. Sacks Non- Academic Staff Of State’s Tertiary Institutions


By Ignatius Okpara

EBONYI, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Ebonyi State Governor, Mr. David Nweze Umahi, has ordered the immediate sack of some non-academic workers in the State owned University and College of Education.

He handed down the order in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital Saturday while receiving the report of a committee set up by his administration to review activities of the said institutions of higher learning.

Umahi said: “It does not make ‘economic sense’ for the institutions to employ 400 cleaners, as one wonders the scope and nature of work they will be doing.

“We know that the managements postulated ‘professional sense’ in employing such workers but with the prevailing economic situation in the country, we should effectively merge it with ‘economic sense,” he stated.

He equally ordered that promotion of staff in both institutions be suspended until the visitation panel concluded its assignment.

The Governor also directed the State’s fiscal responsibility commission to investigate activities in both institutions.

“When we conclude all reviews and investigations, I am optimistic that we can reduce their tuition fees as obtained in other States of the South East geo-political zone.

“We are unhappy that our students seek academic pursuits in other States due to high tuition fees, and we are committed to solving all the problems confronting these institutions,” he promised.

He also ordered that the salaries of workers under the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) be paid immediately provided there was an agreement between the Ministry of Health and the concerned local governments.

“The salaries of those who do not have any binding agreement should also be paid but it must be on equal basis with workers on the same grade level in other segments of the civil service.

“We have agreed that workers not enjoying CONHESS due to deficiencies in certificates should be paid a special ‘hazard allowance to motivate them,”.

Chairman of the committee and former Deputy Governor of the state, Professor. Chigozie Ogbu, in his remarks, noted that the report solicited the assistance of all unions and interest groups for effective discharge of the onerous assignment.

The committee however, urged the unions to shelve their planned strike and other acts that might disrupt academic activities in the institutions.

Chairman of the committee on CONHESS, Mr Ignatius Unah, noted that most of the workers did not merit their jobs, as they were recruited to settle political patronage.

“The case of cemetery workers was most intriguing as more than 100 workers collect CONHESS when there are non-existent cemeteries in the state,” he pointed out.

AFRICAN EXAMINER gathered that fear has gripped workers in various ministries, departments and agencies in the state as there are speculation that the professor Ogbu, led committee may equally extend its assignment to all the establishments.

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