Prevail on Ritman varsity to pay my salaries, don begs minister, NUC

A university lecturer, Dr. Oryina Kingsley Akputu, has cried out to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, over alleged refusal by the authorities of Ritman University, Ikot-Ekpene, Akwa Ibom state, to pay his salaries and allowances amounting N3, 265,028:09.

Dr. Akputu, while briefing reporters in Abuja Wednesday on his ordeal, accused the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Celestine Nituen, for allegedly masterminding the stoppage of his salaries.

The don, who served for 21 months as Lecturer 1 in the Department of Mathematics/Computer Science of Ritman University, also called on the National Universities Commission (NUC) to urgently come to his rescue in view of the challenges posed by the problem.

Akputu described the treatment meted to him as unjust and illegal, considering that he had unblemished records throughout his stay in the university.

“I was not issued any query and no disciplinary action was taken against me. I was dedicated and committed to my responsibilities as a lecturer and acting HOD.

“On the 17th February, 2020, I voluntarily resigned my appointment with the university. My letter of resignation was duly accepted by the university and was advised to complete all exit formalities and met with the university’s bursar for payment of my outstanding salaries and allowances.

“The university has refused to keep to earlier agreement to pay my outstanding salaries and allowances for several months now after completing all exit formalities. The salaries and allowances are computed thus: (a) Basic salaries for 13 months – N174, 232.93 multiplied by 13 =2,265,028. 09; (b) Allowances and out of pocket expenses as coordinator/acting HOD – N50, 000 multiplied by 20 months =N1000, 000.

“This is a total sum of N3, 265,028. 09, representing what the university is owing me. The withholding of this salary and allowance has caused me untold hardship.

“After meeting a brick wall with my visits to the university for payment of the aforementioned salaries and allowances, I contacted my lawyer, Amaechi A. Chukwuma of Amaechi Chukwuma & Co. (St. Augustine’s Chambers) to write the vice chancellor, Prof. Celestine Ntuen, for my salaries and allowances.

“My lawyer wrote a letter to the vice chancellor demanding the payment of my salaries and allowances on June 1st, 2020, without any reply from the university.

“A reminder was written to the vice chancellor again on 6th July, 2020. Up till now Prof. Celestine Ntuen has not paid my salaries and allowances or replied my lawyer.

“All these letters appealing to the university to pay me have been copied to the Minister for Education and NUC headquarters in Abuja,” he said.

When Blueprint contacted the VC, Prof Ntuen on the issue, he said he was not in the position to comment over the matter, and referred our correspondent to the proprietor of the institution, Senator Emmanuel Ibok.

Emmanuel Ibok for his part, promised to get back to the correspondent, as he was in a meeting of proprietors of private schools with the Minister of Education but never called back, as repeated calls to his line were ignored.

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