.,…We remain committed to staff welfare, Says management
Activities at the Ekiti State University Ado-Ekiti were, yesterday, paralysed, as workers of the institution protested, hired a live band and turned the main entrance of the school into a party arena.
The development was part of efforts by the protesting workers to press home their demands over alleged backlog of unpaid salaries and allowances.
The action of the workers grounded movement of vehicles in and out of the university as both the workers and students of the institution were denied entry into the campus for several hours.
Secretary of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) EKSU Branch, Mr. Azeez Aguda, who spoke with the newsmen on the development, said the agitation would continue until government accedes to their demands.
He highlighted the demands to include payment of July-September salaries of 2018, remittance of cooperative and pension dues and reinstatement of sacked workers, among others.
In its reaction, the management of the institution said it remained committed to the welfare of the workers. It said it was aware of the outstanding salaries for the month of July to September 2018, saying that the arrears were owed by the past administration.
A statement by the Head, Directorate of Information & Corporate Affairs, Mr. Bode Olofinmuagun, said: “It is on record that the Dr. Kayode Fayemi-led administration in the state has consistently and promptly released subventions to the university and EKSU perhaps remains the state university in the South-West that receives the highest subvention.
“Despite the dwindling financial resources in the state, the government has not reduced the subvention.”
“It should be noted that the 14-month arrears of half salary mentioned by ASUU-EKSU predated the present administration under the leadership of Dr. Kayode Fayemi.
“Unfortunately, the inability of the university management to meet most of its financial obligations in year 2020 was not unconnected with the sudden outbreak of COVID-19 and the national strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in which ASUU-EKSU participated in solidarity.
“During this period, the internally-generated revenue of the university reduced drastically as many students did not pay fees.
“Despite these numerous challenges, the university, in the past few months, has not only been paying salaries in full, but has been paying as and when due. This would not have been possible if government had failed to release or decided to reduce the subvention.”