Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike in Abia State (MOUAU) engulfed in confusion, as management is set to sack 460 staff

www.odogwublog.com reports that anxiety and fear have gripped workers in Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike in Abia State as the management, baring last minute change of mind,  appears set to lay off 460 staff.

The affected staff both academic and non- academic, according to the university management  were allegedly recruited " illegally by the immediate -past administration" led by Professor Hilary Edeoga.


A directive to lay off the workers was contained in a circular dated April 28 signed by the Registrar, Dr. Azubuike Nwokocha, which directed the affected workers to re-apply for a renewal of their appointment.
 
The directive claimed that the letter of temporary appointment issued to the affected staff upon their engagement expired after one year, hence , they have ceased to be employees of the university since they were not regularized.

A copy of the circular sighted by our correspondent read in part, “following the resolution at the family meeting held on the 27 th April 2017, All staff on temporary appointment and whose appointment had lapsed are here by requested to apply for renewal of Temporary appointment.

“The application should be addressed to the registrar through the HOD  and Dean. The supervising officers should give cogent reasons why the applicant’s Temporary appointment should be renewed.

According to the circular the receipt of application closes one week from the 4th may 2017.

But some of the affected workers who spoke with our correspondent on the basis of anonymity for fear of victimization, accused the "enemies" of the immediate- past Vice Chancellor, Professor Edeoga , of inciting the incumbent VC to embark on the project.

They further alleged that the action was aimed at weeding out those employed by Edeoga to pave way for the cronies of the friends of the incumbent VC to be recruited .

Bemoaning their fate, the affected staff said sacking them midway after they were recruited would plunge them, their families and other dependents into untold hardship.

They appealed to the management to give a human face to their matter and regularise their appointments instead of sacking them.

Confirming the development, the Public Relations officer of the university, Mrs. Adanma Odefa, said the action was not intended to witch- hunt anybody as being insinuated but, rather necessary to " do things according to due process".

Mrs. Odefa denied that the VC was under any influence to disengage the affected staff, but explained that their appointment had expired one year after they were recruited as they had not been regularised.

She blamed the past administration for recruiting them without due process saying that it was out of the magnanimity of the current administration that the affected workers were even paid their March salary as their temporary appointment elapsed in February.

Her words: “There is bit of a mess that needed  to be sorted out. It didn’t just start with this administration, the Professor Hillary Edeoga administration hired over 460 people improperly without going through the right procedure.

“ A staff has a temporary appointment that elapses automatically after one year if it is not renewed. The appointment of the staff in question elapsed on February this year.

" We are also sorry for the victims because it was not their fault. Because of recession we can no longer meet up with our financial obligations. We are struggling to get money to pay workers.

" The University can no longer continue to pay this people because it is illegal. They are no longer employees of the University technically; you can’t be paying people who are not your employees."

She said the university currently did not have a governing board but added that the affected workers would be screened after re-applying and those whose services are relevant  would be re- engaged.

   

 

Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike in Abia State (MOUAU) engulfed in confusion, as management is set to sack 460 staff Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike in Abia State (MOUAU) engulfed in confusion, as management is set to sack 460 staff Reviewed by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu on Wednesday, May 03, 2017 Rating: 5

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