The Academic Staff Union of Unive r s i t i e s (ASUU), Owerri zone yesterday threatened a showdown should both the Federal and the state governments refuse to redress issue of salary shortfalls in five public universities in the zone. Addressing journalists in Awka, zonal Coordinator, Prof. Ike Odimegwu said that the anomaly which started in 2015 had gone out of control in the last seven months.
Odimegwu, who was represented at the event by Mr. Uzochukwu Onyebinama, Chairperson of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture (MOUUAU), said the situation had led to delays and payment of fractions of salaries in both the federal and state universities in the zone.
He said: “We unequivocally demand the immediate release and payment of all outstanding salary shortfalls and remittance of all authorized deductions in order to avert the impending industrial disharmony.”
The affected universities, according to Odumegwu are Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU) Uli, Federal University of Technology (FUTO), Owerri and Imo State University (IMSU), Owerri. Others are Michael Okpara University of Agriculture (MOUAU), Umudike and Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU) Awka.
Of the universities, he said that Nnamdi Azikiwe University had salary shortfalls of over N88million in January and increased to over N170million in February this year while that of FUTO amounted to over N82million in January and increased to N157milion in February this year.
He also said that in MOUAU, the salary shortfalls for January amounted to over N111million and increased to over N136million in February this year as salaries were not paid as at when due in the state-owned universities in the zone.