Students of Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State have decried the poor quality of services rendered to them by some non-teaching staff of the university.
Particularly, the students are wary of the poor quality of service at the bursary unit where they are mandated to change their bank tellers to school receipts after payment of approved fees.
Augustine Agba, a 300 level student of Chemical Engineering said the number of staff working at the bursary units is far below the average needed to serve the students. This, he said, forces students to queue for long hours when they go for a change of receipts.
“Sometimes, we stand in queue for over five hours and we have had cases where students slumped in the process,” he said. “Just last semester, a female student fainted at the bursary unit of my faculty.”
“Management should leverage on the digital world towards reducing stress and rigorous processes that students are subjected to when changing bank tellers to school receipts,” he added.
Mary Obinna, a 300 level student of Chemistry Education, had visited the Bursary Unit several times on the day she granted this interview. At each visit, she said she was asked to return later with the information that the staff she sought to see was either busy or out of the office.
On his part, Chukwunonso Onyibe, a 400 level student of Linguistics/Nigerian Languages described the process as cumbersome and tiring. He alleged that many students had been forced to pay double fees either because they had lost their bank tellers or that the ink on the tellers became faint due to the stress of taking it around several times.
Other students called on the university management to check the excesses of some staff members who take advantage of the unfortunate situation to extort students, especially ‘freshers’ – new students.
They also advocated bringing bursary services down to the department level, the inclusion of the students’ union and digitalization.
“Students Are Nonchalant” – School Accountants
Reacting to the complaints, some faculty accountants say students’ lateness in changing tellers to receipt worsen the situation.
The Accountant of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Prisca Pius, said some students show a low level of seriousness towards changing their bank tellers to receipts.
“Some set of students have not changed their 2016/2017 tellers to receipt and therefore we have issues computing and updating the ledger and cash book. Because of the large population of students in the faculty, we have scheduled days for different levels, Mondays are for 100 level students, Tuesdays for 200 level, Wednesday for 300 level, Thursday for 400 level, and on Fridays, we attend randomly to students and update the cash book and ledger,” Mrs Pius explained.
She pleaded with the university management to work towards making the process electronic, as that would ease the stress and reduce mistakes. Mrs Pius also cleared the air as to why students had to be subjected to the rigorous process of going to the bursary to confirm payment before changing their tellers to receipts.
“A student caused the problem, he fabricated a remittal number, but he was caught in the act. And management gave an order that they should go to the bursary to confirm through the school e-payment platform.”
Ngozi Ufiem, an Accountant of the Faculty of Management Sciences, shares the same opinion while stating other challenges.
“Students, as a matter of habit, will not change tellers on time, most times digits are wiped making it difficult to validate payment; it affects record keeping, and we find it difficult to reconcile account statements.”
Blessing Agha, a Service Compact (SERVICOM) official said the regulatory body is ready to delve into any matter brought to its table. SERVICOM is an institution in an organisation charged with the responsibilities of providing quality service to people, ensuring good leadership, educating customers on their rights and empowering public officers to be alert to their responsibilities in providing improved, efficient, timely and transparent service.
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