I won’t sack protesting workers – FUOYE’s VC assures

The Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti(FUOYE), Ekiti State, Prof. Kayode Soremekun, has promised not to sack the
leaders of the Senior Staff Union of Universities(SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union(NASU) , who led a protest against him on Monday.

Contrary to the allegation that the university’s development has decelerated under him, Soremekun disclosed that he has taken bold steps to expand the Internally Generated Revenue of the university as well as shoring up the number of courses from 30 to 49 with the recent accreditation of 19 more courses by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

The Vice Chancellor clarified that contrary to the position canvassed by the rampaging unions , November salary was paid before the New Year’s festivity , while that of December was paid today (Tuesday) after getting the credit facility from the federal government on Monday.

Members of the two unions had on Monday shut down the university in protest over unpaid November and December salaries and non-payment of hazard allowance, while also accusing the management of withdrawing N2 million each to celebrate the Christmas, among other grievous allegations bordering on illegal employment and stagnant promotion.

Speaking in Ado Ekiti, Soremekun said his major preoccupation is how to develop the university and not to witch-hunt anybody on account of legitimate agitations.

Soremekun denied engaging in arbitrary award of contracts and pilfering of the institution’s money for selfish motives, saying the university has a strong Public Procurement Act and Financial and General Purposes Committee to scrutinize all dealings being undertaken by the management.

“As much as we are not going to victimize anybody, we will not also tolerate any act of lawlessness by unions, because we learnt many of the academic staff who didn’t join the protest were beaten. This was not good for academic environment and we will not allow that.

“We have paid the outstanding salaries and what we expect is for them to resume work. The idea that all allowances must be paid before resumption is not realizable now. But I want to appeal to them to see reason to allow for speedy settlement of this crisis”, he said.

The VC added : “The federal government has set up Wale Babalakin-led committee to dialogue with university workers and I expect them to await the outcome of the committee.

“The FG dialogue with university workers in 2009 and they appealed to universities with strong IGR to pay the hazard allowance. But what IGR can a university like FUOYE, which established five years ago makes?

“We are just trying to expand the scope by creating more courses to accommodate more youths and boost our revenue to be able to pay”, he clarified.

The VC lamented that the university is 24-hour hooked to generating set for effective power supply in the university, which cost a sum of N10 million monthly, saying he has signed an agreement with Benin Electricity Distribution Company to link the school to the grid and reduce dependence on costly alternative power source.

 

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