Muscat: The Ministry of Higher Education has issued a statement stating it has now paid all outstanding dues to Nizwah University, whose staff members had not been paid their salaries.
The Ministry reacted to news about the delay at the university's in the payment of its employees' salaries for October and November 2016.
As for the difficulties facing Nizwa University due to delayed cash flows, which resulted in delaying the payment of employees' salaries, the Ministry of Higher Education pointed out that it has paid all the outstanding payments for the University. It added that the only pending payment for the University is the payment for students enrolled at the University for the current semester (autumn semester from September to the end of December). The Ministry usually makes the payment for autumn semester before the end of the semester. This means that the pending amount for the University is immediate and not outstanding.
The Ministry expressed its keenness to communicate and coordinate with all higher education institutions to help them achieve their objectives and overcome the challenges facing them. To this end, it is keen on making due payments for the students studying at the different education institutions inside and outside the Sultanate, as per the financial expenditure allocated for this purpose. The Ministry follows certain financial measures before making any payments from the Ministry to these organizations, such as auditing and reviewing the amounts to be paid.
Further, the Ministry pointed out that it follows the same approach with the other higher education institutions. This refutes the allegations about delayed payments by the Ministry. The amounts referred to will be paid soon after completing the required audit and review of the relevant invoices and documents. This has been the followed practice by the Ministry and Nizwa University is fully aware of this before.
The Ministry said that within its effort to solve this issue, Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed al-Sarmi, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Higher Education met with representatives of the Education Sector Division at the General Federation of Oman Trade Union (GFOTU) in the presence of the Director General of Private Universities and Colleges last Sunday to discuss the details of the issue and the stance of the Ministry in this regard.
During the meeting, the Ministry pointed out that it has maintained coordination with the Ministry of Finance and provided many facilities to Nizwa University to ensure that it gets its due payments. The Ministry also issued a certificate to whom it may concern about the payments for the university with regard to study fees to facilitate getting credit facilities from banks. The Ministry has also made partial payment of the study fees for the current semester (autumn semester).
The Ministry of Higher Education affirmed the need by the higher education institutions to revise their financial performance to ensure meeting their obligations and avoid similar problems. They also need to have plans to manage crises and ensure sustainability and growth.