From: Ali Abare, Gombe
Vice Chancellor of the Federal University Kashere (FUK) Prof. Alhassan Gani, has denied claims by striking workers of the University that the management was withholding their October salaries.
Prof. Gani, in a chat with newsmen, on Tuesday, explained that the delay in payment of the October salary, was due to hitches encountered because of upgrade in the Government Integrated Financial Information System (GIFMIS) at the office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
He dismissed as mischief claims by the workers that the management has concluded to withhold the salaries of staff as refund for double payments erroneously made in May.
“I challenge you to make enquiries, the problem is not peculiar to this institution. The upgrade in GIFMIS has delayed payment of salaries nationwide,” he said.
Responding on the call for his sack by the workers, Prof. Gani dismissed it as an indication of their ulterior motives aimed at disrupting smooth activities at the university.
“We are finding it difficult to access the new platform. A staff has been sent from the AGF office to assist us key into the new payment system,” he explained.
On the double payment made in August for the month of May, the VC explained that the payment was made in error.
He said the office of the AGF has since contacted the management with a view to refunding the excess payment.
“The AGF directed for the refund of that money, which we are expected to remit into a particular bank account,” he said.
While adding that already some top management staff of the institution have already complied by refunding the money, the VC said other staff were yet to comply.
He said management of the institution have ensured that salaries were paid promptly and as when due.
On the shortfall in payment experienced in March, Prof. Gani said the university sourced for funds to supplement and pay full salaries of workers.
“In July, we had savings and we used it to pay back 20 percent shortfall for January salaries.We have been consistent in promoting staff welfare. We regularised appointments of staff on temporary appointment for over two years,” he said.
“They have ulterior motives for going on strike. They are bent on disrupting activities at the university,” he said.
Prof. Gani also said he was left with no option than to invite security operatives to secure facilities at the university when it became obvious the striking workers were becoming unruly.
It would be recalled that varsity workers from three unions namely the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) and Nationalist Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) on Monday embarked on indefinite strike action demanding for the sack of the VC for allegedly delaying the payment of their October salary.