LAUTECH Crisis: Osun Govt attacks ASUU over comments on salaries

LAUTECH
Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomosho

The Osun State Government has condemned the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) for accusing it of not paying its members’ salaries.

The university’s ASUU members recently said they would disrupt academic activities over an alleged refusal of the state government to pay their outstanding two months salaries.

The school is co-owned Oyo and Osun governments.

The union maintained that Oyo State is duly contributing its funds for the running of the institution.

‘Misguided’

Reacting to this allegation, Wole Oyebamiji, the Secretary to the State Government, in a statement made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Friday said the position of ASUU is misguided.

He also said while Osun kept faith religiously with an agreed payment arrangement, “Oyo at some point jettisoned it”.

“Previously, Osun and Oyo states who are joint owners of the university had agreed to a template that will see Oyo pay salaries of workers at LAUTECH, Ogbomoso for six months, while Osun carries the burden of paying salaries of workers at LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, also for a period six months and vice versa.

“But while Osun kept faith religiously with the above arrangement, Oyo at some point jettisoned it. This explains why from 2013 till date, only Osun has been shouldering the payment of salaries of workers at the LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, amounting to N16, 604, 510, 806.12.

“Following the visitation panel of 2017 and the reconciliation of accounts that followed, an agreement was reached by the two states to contribute One Billion Naira each, as seed money to the university. The said amount was meant for stabilisation.

“By the arrangement at the time, the university was expected to devise means of funding itself after six months.

“In spite of paucity of fund at the time, Osun contributed its own One Billion Naira. But there was no record anywhere to show Oyo paid the said money.”

‘Collapsed agreement’

Mr Oyebamiji also said the rotational payment between the two states had collapsed.

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“The claim by ASUU that Oyo had paid from January to June 2019, and as such, Osun should pay from July to December this year, does not hold water. The argument will only make meaning if Oyo had been paying salaries of workers at the LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo.

“Besides, within the same period that ASUU claimed Oyo paid salaries of workers at LAUTECH, Ogbomoso, Osun also paid salaries of workers at LAUTECH, Teaching Hospital, Osogbo.

“For emphasis, below is the analysis of what Oyo contributed: January- N73, 977, 759. 10, February- N73, 977, 759.10, March – N73, 977, 759.10, April – N295, 969, 650.11, May – N295, 969, 650.11 and June – N295, 969, 560.11, whereas Osun, within the same period, had contributed :January -N235, 967, 856.98, February – N239,783,757.04, March -N239, 642, 219.14, April- N239, 007,500.28, May- N235,382,043.73 and June – N235, 251,415.70, to LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo. The state, as earlier stated had gone ahead to contribute another N230, 923,499.67 and N234, 556, 975.64 as July and August salaries respectively, for LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo.

“In addition to all that Osun had contributed to LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, it again supported the university in Ogbomoso, with N300, 000,000.00, in July, this year.

“In effect, what this means is that while Osun had cumulatively spent over N2 billion on the institution from January to date, Oyo had only spent a little over N1 billion.

“From the forgoing, it will therefore be unfair for ASUU to single out Osun as being solely responsible for non-payment of salaries at LAUTECH, Ogbomoso, especially because for every kobo Oyo State had contributed in running LAUTECH in the last two years till date, Osun had contributed twice the amount.”

He said the government was disposed to the amicable resolution of all issues concerning the running of LAUTECH.

“But we will not allow any individual or group to blackmail us into taking such decision.

“Whatever decision that needs to be taken on the future of the institution must be one that is mutually agreed upon by the two states,” the statement read.

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, threatened to “divorce” Osun if it was not ready to pay workers.

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