Ekiti varsity workers on strike over unpaid salaries
Academic and non-academic activities were paralyzed on Monday at the Ekiti State University, (EKSU) Ado-Ekiti, as the workers protested against non-payment of six-month subventions, salary arrears as well as cooperative deductions among others.
The angry staff prevented vehicular and human movement in and out of the institution as they ensured that all gates to the campus were under lock and key.
Vehicles were parked outside as many of the staff and students roamed about in front of the school gate.
The unions who participated in the protest include the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) National Association of Area Technologists (NAT) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), among others.
According to them, contrary to the government’s view that the institution’s recent investment in some ventures to shore up its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), has made it capable of taking care of paying salary, emoluments, and remuneration, all is not well, as the management has only been able to pay a paltry 20% of the staff’s salary arrears since March this year. They maintained that the management had failed to live up to its responsibilities due to the failure of the state government to pay subventions since January this year.
Governor Ayodele Fayose had during its convocation last month praised the management of the institution for raising the bar of its IGR to cater for its salaries and allowances, but the protesting workers said the governor might have been misinformed by the school management as they have been receiving 20 percent of their net pay since January this year.
Speaking about the plight of the workers, SSANU chairman, Mr. Kolapo Olatunde, said: “the last subvention the State Government released the to the university was in December, last year.
“The government has erroneously believed that the management takes care of the full salary payment without the subvention. But the reality is that we have only been receiving 20 percent of our salaries since January till date with deductions, and even the deductions were not remitted into the accounts of the cooperative societies on campus.
“We also heard that the state government is not putting EKSU on the agenda of the bailout from the federal government given erroneous impression that all is well with us, whereas we have been suffering in silence.
Chairman of NAT, Engineer Awogbemi Omobola, attributed the non-payment of the staff’s full salary to the fact that the institution has exhausted all its available resources to pay net salaries of workers. He said: “The institution has even been struggling to augment the payment of 20% of salary with N250 million monthly from the IGR. We have remained patient with the management because it has been trying, but with this protest, we want to tell Ekiti and the world that they should not allow the institution to collapse as this is the only asset the state has.
Mr. Tope Akanmu, the institution’s NASU chairman who itemized their demands, urged the government to resume the payment of monthly subvention to the institution and also include it in the bailout scheme from the federal government.
He lamented that despite series of letters written to the state government prior to the last convocation in June, nothing has been done to alleviate the suffering of the workers.