Pay us our 4years salaries before we die – Disabled UNIZIK staff beg VC

Persons living with disabilities working with Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State have raised the alarm over their four months unpaid salaries.

The staff, numbering ten said they were not just suffering but were dying as most of them had been ejected from their apartments for inability to renew their rents, while others were indebted to food vendors in-order to feed.

Speaking to our correspondent, one of the victims, Kenechukwu Uka said they were recruited in 2020 and had immediately resumed work after undergoing necessary documentation.

He said they were directed to work from August till December 2020, when their data would be captured by the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, a Federal Government payment solution.

He however accused the university management of frustrating their efforts towards sorting out the issue with the university payment portal, the IPPIS, regretting that none of his colleagues was captured during the IPPIS visit to the institution.

He said, “We’ve written several letters seeking appointment with the Vice Chancellor, Prof Charles Esimone, but none has been fruitful

“In some of our letters, he will refer us to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and when we meet the DVC, he will ask us to write another letter and we will do so, yet nothing will happen eventually.

“We continued this until last year when the University pulled down the IPPIS again to capture unpaid staff and unfortunately, none of us was also captured. So we are confused.

“When we met the VC at one of the functions he attended and complained to him about our plights, he promised that our matter was being attended to and that our next visit to him would be to say thank you sir. Yet, nothing has been done till date.

“We have spoken to people we consider to be close to the VC but nothing has happened. That is why we are raising this cry for help so the public will know what we are going through.”

Uka continued, “Sometime last year, we contributed money and gave to one of us to go to the IPPIS in Abuja to know what is happening. 

“He was told we should get a letter of recommendation from the university and that once we get the letter, all of us will be captured for salaries in less than an hour.

“Ever since then, we have been writing, asking for that recommendation letter so we can go to Abuja by ourselves to get captured and start receiving our salaries. But they have refused to give us that letter till date.

“You can appreciate our predicament. We don’t want to engage in a fight with our employer but we are at cross-road. That’s why we’re raising this alarm for as many that can speak for us to intervene so that this issue can be addressed.

“As we speak, most of us have been sent packing from their apartments because they could not renew their rents, while others are now indebted to food vendors just to feed.

“We are no just suffering but we are dying because we can’t do any other thing like our able counterparts to survive while we wait for the salaries.”

Reacting, Special Adviser to the VC on Public Relations and Special Duties, Dr Emma Ojukwu assured that the matter would soon be resolved by the federal government recent authorization to universities to pay their staff internally.

“The recent authorization by the Federal government to universities to pay their staff internally will solve the problem. 

“Right now a circular is being awaited from Abuja to make sure all staff receive their salary as and when due,” he said.

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