The Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), yesterday vowed to continue with the strike embarked upon by the union in order to reap the benefits of the struggle that include infrastructure development.
The union in a release jointly signed by the Chairman and Secretary, Prof. Biodun Olaniran and Prof. Toyin Abegunrin, respectively, after its congress, while reacting to the threat by the threat of Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, to stop payment of subvention until the lecturers returned to classroom, said its members have resolved to forge ahead with the strike and pursue it to a logical conclusion which “is imminent.”
The union said the government should not see itself or students as target of the strike but as beneficiaries of the strike as the intervention of most state governments in terms of subvention have been used as part-payment of salaries.
According to the release, the union is shocked to hear from the state Commissioner of Education during a radio programme in Ibadan, that the state has been paying the university 100 per cent subvention when the school’s administration revealed to it that only 55 per cent subvention comes from government and the balance of 45 per cent is sought by the university through Internally Generated Revenue (IGR)
The ASUU leaders stated that the Commissioner’s claim on subvention has created further distrust between the management and the union as to who is saying the truth and who is not, stating that the responsibilities of capital projects have been totally abdicated and surrendered to TETFUND and NEEDS assess projects of ASUU’s struggles.
They further noted that lecturers are very sensitive to the plight of the students but that the government should thank the union for the struggle which has helped in training its members in human capacity development through TETFUND grants.
The release read: “The congress of ASUU, LAUTECH Branch was held on Tuesday, 07/06/2022. The congress deliberated extensively on the press interview granted to the Honourable Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology by Fresh FM on Saturday 28th of May, 2022 and His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde by BCOS on Saturday, 4th June, 2022, respectively. In the interview, the Honourable Commissioner stated that LAUTECH has been receiving full subvention. This position is at variant with the submission of the university administration, that only about 55 per cent of the subvention is provided by the government while the remaining 45 per cent is sought by the university via Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
“Our union is in darkness of the true situation of things. Ordinarily, IGR is expected to be used to defray arrears of various allowance owed the workers by the university, but rather, the university administration attributed its inability to defray these outstanding arrears to it having to augment salary with as much as 45% of the monthly subvention to the university. However, the claim by the Honourable Commissioner has further worsened the distrust of our union on the sincerity of the university administration, believing that welfare of our members is being toyed with (with a political game).
“In the interview conducted by the BCOS, His Excellency stated that the lecturers are insensitive to the plight of the students otherwise; the academic workers of the branch would not have joined the strike. We wish to state here categorically, as we have always done that the strike is not targeted at any individual or group of individuals or the government of the state. The strike is NOT about Federal or State universities but purely about the University System in Nigeria. The university system is one (as regulated the National University Commission). ASUU too is one. There is only one Chatter of ASUU with several Branches including LAUTECH Branch. Virtually all public tertiary institutions particularly public universities are beneficiaries of ASUU’ struggles in Nigeria.
“Currently, the responsibility of most state governments in Nigeria to the state-owned universities is limited to part-payment of monthly salaries. The responsibilities of capital projects has been completely abdicated and surrendered to Tetfund and Needs Assessments Project of ASUU’s struggles. An inventory of buildings, laboratories and workshop equipment in all public universities will confirm this! In recent times, all branches that break ASUU’s strikes have been made to forfeit the benefit/proceed of the ASUU’s struggle.”