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Universities lecturers cry out over 4-month salary delay

Author: Madrama James | Published: Thursday, November 30, 2023

University of Bahr el Ghazal campus - COURTESY

Public university lecturers have called on the Finance and Planning Minister to live up to his promise to pay civil servants salaries in a timely manner by disbursing their four-month arrears.

The reminder to the Minister comes a week after Upper Nile University lecturers threatened to lay down their tools over delayed salary payment for the past four months.

Pasquale Michael, a representative of Bahr el Ghazal Public University said until now, Minister Dr. Bak Barnaba did not even mention when they will be paid their dues.

Michael questioned whether the economic reform agenda that the minister said he would embark brought about the challenging situation.

“We heard from our colleague, who is the current Minister of Finance that, he’s going to implement the timely payment for each and every institution in the country,” the lecturer told Eye Radio’s Sundown Show from Wau-Town on Wednesday.

“The timely payment is taking us up to five months now, I don’t which economy reforms are we talking about because am an economist.”

“I’m not against his reforms. But why are all these reforms taking us to another challenging situations?”

“Where we spent like five months without any payment. And there’s no single room for him (Minister of Finance) to give us time or date for payment. It has not been communicated.”

On his part, Dr. Adam Thambo, Chairperson of Upper-Nile University Academic Staff Association warns the economic hardship will make some lecturers to quite their duties.

He said the situation is getting tough as some lecturers cannot afford means of transport and even food to eat.

“Lecturers use their own means of transport, getting lunch is becoming difficult, and children are also expecting something to eat at home, because they know, you’ve been from work,” Thambo.

“Kids will be asking for food because they don’t know whether there’s delayed arrears or not. All they want is something ready on table. If we are going like this, we’ll lose some of these lecturers.”

“No lecturer will be willing to teach at the university. What lecturers will resort to do, is to give assignments to students, and wait for exams at the end of the semester. Because lecturer has not been paid for months.  Better he/she should find an alternative for survival.”

Mr. Thambo is urging the higher authorities to intervene and address their concerns.

“We are urging the Vice-President for Service Cluster, Minister of Higher Education, Minister of Finance and President to intervene into these issues of delayed payment.”

“This thing need to be addressed from the grassroots. Then everyone including the government should know that price of one V8 Vehicle, it can carter to pay one hundred professors in this public universities. Why not giving these money to professors instead of buying hundreds of V8 in South Sudan.”

Lecturers at the Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal universities have repeatedly gone on strike over accumulated salary arrears in recent years.

In December 2022, the academic staff at Bahr el Ghazal University accused Higher Education Minister, Changson Chang, of misrepresenting their demand for salary arrears – a week after the latter wrote to Vice President Hussein Abdelgbagi over the lecturers’ grievances.




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