By CrossRiverWatch Admin
The recent recruitment exercise of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) is currently causing ripples in the varsity’s community following allegations of fraud, demand for bribes and poor conduct of the exercise investigations by CrossRiverWatch reveal.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Zana Akpagu CrossRiverWatch gathered, has recruited over 270 academic and non-academic staff barely six months into his tenure with sources within the top management circle of the University who do not want their names mentioned, said the recruitment exercise did not follow due process and federal character commission’s set procedure and guidelines.
“Before any recruitment, either academic or non-academic staff could take place in any federal Universities, first, there must be a request from a Unit, department, faculty and directorate after which the management of the university will meet to deliberate on it” said the source.
“The outcome of the management meeting will be forwarded to the Federal Character Commission and upon approval by the Commission, the University management will advertise to the general public through the office of the registrar in not less than two National Dailies.
“It is after that is done that recruitment can take place. Those who have been employed by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Zana Akpagu are not the employees of the university in the eye of the law and according to the laid down rules of engagement into the University’s employment procedure.
“There is no provision for it in the budget and there is no cash backing because extant regulations demands strict implementation of budgetary provision based on available cash backing.
“The template submitted to the budget office for 2016 did not include the newly employed and indeed potentially employable persons.
“The issue of employment of this new persons has put pressure on the office responsible for pay rolling.
“It is of observable that the university is currently paying 90% salaries, one wonders where fund can be generated to cushion the challenges of those newly employed between January to date, because No supplementary budget, therefore there is no vote to justify the employment” the source said.
Further signs that all was not well with the exercise began showing early as most of the newly employees are yet to get paid after most of them allegedly paid between huge sums of money to get employed.
According to one of the new employees, “I paid three hundred thousand naira long before I was given employment letter and since March till date, I have not been paid a dime.
“You can imagine a situation where friends and families have known that you are working only to be begging them for money again at the end of the month.
“I pay transport everyday (Monday-Friday) I use and spent my productive hours in the university working and at the end of the month, I am not paid and I am hearing from people that my employment is fake. Please I don’t want to hear that.
“I don’t want to know whether the employment was illegal or not, I have an employment letter duly signed by the authority. So, let them resolve their internal differences and please pay us.”
Another staff alleged that some persons, who were acting as cronies for top principal officers were allegedly demanding for bribe, ranging from N100,000 to N150,000 for their salary to be paid.
“They are asking us to pay N150,000 (one hundred and fifty thousand naira) for us to be paid our salaries after we have paid 300,000 to get the job? Jesus Christ” screamed one who spoke on condition of anonymity.
However, one of the University’s Principal Officer who preferred anonymity while reacting to the allegations said; “There is nothing like that as nobody is collecting money. We have said it again and again that people should not fall victim to fraudsters. We only employ to fill in the vacuum online with set rules.”
The source maintained that the management did not cut corners in the recruitment exercise, adding that the UNICAL community will be the greatest beneficiary of the exercise in terms of productivity.
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