NEW ABIA: ASCETA Provost Faces Criticism Over Refusing To Pay Full Salaries To Workers

Prof. Vincent Onwe, the newly appointed Provost of Abia State College of Education, Technical, Arochukwu (ASCETA), is under scrutiny for his decision to pay only half of the salaries to some staff despite receiving the full subvention from the state government.

Some employees received as little as 17,000 Naira for their January salary, despite Governor Alex Otti's release of the full salary amount to Prof. Onwe.

Reports suggest that top government officials are questioning Prof. Onwe's deviation from the administration's policy of promptly paying salaries to Abia workers since May 29, 2023.

Prior to Dr. Alex Otti's tenure as governor, ASCETA staff were owed up to 34 months' worth of salaries, resulting in financial hardship and inadequate medical care.

However, since May 2023, salaries have been regular until last month when the new Provost, who assumed office in October the previous year, opted to pay half salaries despite receiving the full subvention.

Investigations reveal that the Provost may have been under pressure to recover funds from staff who were allocated money by Tetfund in 2019 to attend an international conference, which they did not utilize.

The previous Provost, Dr. Philips Nto, resisted such pressure and continued to pay staff according to government releases.

In a peculiar turn of events, the Chairman of the academic staff union of the college, Comrade Kevin Egesi, influenced the management to implement deductions, seemingly to shift blame onto Dr. Philips Nto.

Provost Onwe, citing financial constraints, implemented the deduction, causing unrest within the college.

Some affected staff, including those on Tetfund scholarships who haven't been paid since November last year, have petitioned Governor Alex Otti to intervene and restore their salaries.

They demand accountability from Provost Onwe for the deducted salaries and removals from the payroll since his tenure began, arguing that his actions contradict Governor Alex Otti's commitment to timely payment of salaries and pensions.

They urge the governor to rein in Provost Onwe's detrimental policies before they harm the institution further.

Efforts to reach Prof. Onwe for comment were unsuccessful, while the college registrar declined to address the matter.

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