Enugu – Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has ordered the payment of salaries of the 153 disengaged staff of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT), Enugu.
Speaking during the inauguration of the ESUT Governing Council in Enugu, Ugwuanyi said that the affected workers needed to be paid for the services they rendered while in service.
The governor said that even if it was not feasible for the government to retain their services at the moment, they should be paid for the period they rendered services.
“This decision is in line with our promise to alleviate poverty and ameliorate the suffering of our people.
“It will also bring to an end the persistent complaints and discontent among the affected staff members and concerned members of the society,” he said.
Ugwuanyi directed the management of the institution to provide 50 per cent of the funds to be used in the payment while the government would provide the rest.
He said that the reconstitution of the council became necessary to sustain the momentum of progress in the institution.
The governor said that the choice of the members of the board reflected the importance the government attached to the institution.
“I am confident that members of the council will deploy their proven competence, experience and approach their responsibilities with the requisite dedication and selflessness,” he said.
Ugwuanyi said that he was delighted that ESUT had started to regain its reputation as a qualitative citadel of learning and reflecting its pre-eminence as the first state university in the country.
Responding, the Chairman of the council, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, said it was an honour for the members to be considered for such positions.
Onah, who is the Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese, said that the members would strive to return ESUT to its level of excellence for it to contribute to the development of the state.
“Some of the battles the state government must fight to rescue residents from the stranglehold of corruption must be in the education sector,” he said.
Onah, who is also the pro-chancellor of the institution, applauded the governor for the pronouncement to pay the disengaged staff of the institution.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the affected workers were disengaged in 2015 following a committee report which declared that their five-month appointments did not follow due process.
Other members of the board are Msgr. Obiora Ike, Igwe Sam Ukpabi, Lady Jane Nnamani, Prof. Emmanuel Ezeugwu, Dr Carol Obayi and Mrs Patricia Nwobodo. (NAN)