RE: ORON WORKERS SEEK PRESIDENCY, NASS INTERVENTION OVER UNPAID DECEMBER 2018 SALARY: PUTTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT
The attention of Management of Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) has been drawn to a fresh whiff of misleading and malicious news report anchored by a maritime reporter with Daily Trust, Eugene Agha and Amaka Anagor-Ewuzie of Business Day Newspapers, respectively.
We state forthwith that the said jaundiced report captioned: “MAN Oron workers seek presidency, NASS intervention over unpaid December 2018 salary” is totally false and misrepresented, and the two reporters have thus presented the Academy in bad light over issues they know nothing about and cannot defend.
The first impression was for the Academy to discard the fabricated story pronto, but given the potential for the misleading farrago that is only fit for the trash can to misinform the gullible public, and in one way or another taint the person of the Rector and transparent record of dealings of the Academy, it became expedient that a swift response be made, first to put matters in the right perspective for the purpose of record, and second, to possibly correct Eugene’s insanity, optical astigmatism and typical presumptuousness.
We unequivocally wish to state that the Academy operates strictly on laid-down rules and principles governing its procedures and operations and does not intend, for any reason by any measure of threat or persuasion, to deviate or bend the rules to gratify parochial individualistic interests. Granted, that may have been the situation in the past that Eugene and his group pitiably belong. Hence, there is no atom of truth in any section of Eugene’s fiction.
First, if this important information will benefit Eugene and his aimless co-travellers in any way, as a regimented and highly specialized establishment, there is nothing like Academic Staff Union in MAN, Oron as alleged. Eugene is not working in the Academy; so how does he know when salary is paid or not? Of course, Staff of the Academy know where their salary usually come from and they have never faulted or attacked the Academy to that effect.
Second, there is no vacuum in any of the principal offices of the Academy. Even in their respective newspapers, if an office of a particular editor is vacant, proactive discretion demands that no void be allowed to exist as somebody would immediately be assigned to act in that capacity, contingent upon when advertisement is made and ratified by the appropriate person or quarters. In the Academy’s peculiar situation, if there is any need for advertisement, it traditionally originates and involves the whole chain of command. By statutory rule of operation, rectification of applications would see the appropriate aspect of Management consult the Governing Council of the Academy, Federal Character Commission and Head of Civl Service of the Federation (HOCS) for their indispensable inputs.
Third, Staff of Academy themselves know who pays their salaries. Their salaries are processed and paid by the Integrated Payment Insurance Scheme (IPPIS) and not the Academy as reported by the kindergarten journalists of conspiracy. This is not a unique case but what is obtainable elsewhere without exceptions under Federal Government Establishments. For the sake of further explication on the matter of December Salary, the problem has never been the fault of the Academy. Management of the Academy has approached office of the Accountant General of the Federation and IPPIS Directorate on this matter for over six times and there have been strong assurances that they were working hard on it, with collaborations with Central Bank. As God may have it, just yesterday,July 31,2019 the Management of the Academy received a call from IPPIS that the 2018 December staff Salaries were available for payment in less than one Week. The staff of Maritime Academy of Nigeria are happy with their Management team on the concerted effort made to ensure that the salary in contention is paid. Hence seeming silence mistaken and over-bloated by Eugene in his counter-productive imagination is truly misplaced.
Fourth, it is almost interesting that the writers of the ill-fated reports have not in person or by proxy visited the Academy in the past one and half years for official engagements on issues that would have guided their interests. But there have chosen to nose around picking information from dustbins and frustrated disgruntled elements whose stock-in-trade is careless gossiping of no effect on the actual situation of things.
Against this backdrop, it is therefore glaring that Eugene Agha and Amaka Anagor-Ewuzie are running errand for unrepentant enemies of the Academy who felt played out of their old ways. The Academy accordingly challenge them to mention the leader of the Academic Staff Union or show a document to buttress their supposed claims.
Eugene’s actions do not represent the character and philosophy of Daily Trust. He is only determined to cause disaffection between the Academy and the newspaper. The fact remains that there are many things happening in the maritime industry that he should have reported to inform and educated the public, but Eugene chose to feed on falsehood and unsubstantiated matters. He is therefore not a true ambassador of Daily Trust.
It is regrettable that of all his years of practice in the media, Eugene still remains an arm-chair, cut-and-paste journalist who specializes in whipping up public sentiments with sensational news stories that mock his capacity. The truth is, Eugene has been seeking unnecessary attention from the Academy when he lacks the capacity to handle even the simplest task to the Academy’s satisfaction. Rector has referred him severally to emerging trends and other opportunities in the massive maritime industry where he can beam his searchlight; but Eugene still hangs all his hope in the Academy.
Besides, the Academy operates on a well structured organogram from the Management to Governing Council to the Honourable Minister of Transportation. But what was Eugene’s interest that he arrogated duty to himself by involving the National Assembly and Presidency in a matter involving the Academy Staff. So is he now the megaphone for the Academy Staff on matters of salaries so that he can pre-empt the established channels of communications?
Again, one wonders why the said report was syndicated by Amaka Anagor-Ewuzie of Business Day who foolishly towed his line. The Rector who never called nor invited any of the reporters to the Academy, only spoke on phone with Eugene of Daily Trust, according him the honour and benefit of explication on some issues in the Academy and only advised him to focus on more serious issues that will add value to the Nigerian Maritime industry. It is therefore obvious that Eugene Agha was simply acting a script built upon a hidden agenda by his sponsors.
More disturbingly, quoting a source, Eugene stated: “The delay in the payment of our last salary and allowances is causing stress on lecturers because for many of our members…If the delay issue cannot be resolved it is going to create tension which might affect academic activities in the school”. This statement is preposterous, inflammable and predisposed to sponsored protest against the Academy. Pre-empting tension in a relatively peaceful environment of the Academy leaves us with no option than to involve the Department of State Security Services (DSS) in this matter.
However, in the final analysis, the duo of Eugene Agha and Amaka Anagor-Ewuzie still has a period of grace to recant or come forward and prove their allegations. Otherwise, the Academy shall take legal action against them or have nothing whatsoever to do with Daily Trust and Business Day Newspapers, henceforth.
Department of Public Relations
Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN)
Oron, Akwa Ibom State