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Academic activities grounded in OOU, as lecturers down tools

Lecturers at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State have refused to show up for classes on Monday, over delay in their salaries.

Though, the lecturers claimed not to be on strike, students at OOU said there were no academic activities in the university.

When contacted, the Chiarman of Academic Staff Union of Universities, OOU branch, Dr. Agboola Ayodeji, confirmed that the lecturers shunned classes.

He said the lecturers refused to go to classes to lecture because of the “persistent” delay in their salaries.

According to him, the delay in salary had been occurring for about three years now.

Apart from persistence delay in the lecturers salary, the ASUU chairman identified the new point of sales; non-release of fund for accreditation; arbitrary Taxation and outstanding entitlements as factors responsible for the action.

He said, “We are all off from work. We are all protesting persistent Delays in the Payment of Salaries. In the last three years, salaries have been irregular. It took several letters written by the Union since September 2011, reminding the University authority on delays in the payment of salaries could be paid.

“It is pathetic that our children are being sent out of schools for non-payment of school fees. Some of our members cannot even pay their rents and meet other basic needs. This situation becomes more worrisome given the frequent assertion of the State Government that it pays all workers in its employ before the end of every month. One then wonders if we are not part of the State work force or could it be that there are cliques within government circle frustrating the effort of the government.

“While we are mindful of the implication of any action that may cripple the University’s tight calendar, we are tired of working for two months and receiving one month salary. Our members have affirmed that they have been deprived the opportunity to come to work as salaries are not paid.”

On the issue of Point of Sales, he said the new method adopted by the government was not suitable for the generation of Internal Generated Revenue in the institution.

He said, “The idea of POS is to ease collection of fees within the system. However, the last Visitation panel’s White Paper by the present State government condemned the mode of payments then as exploitative and was therefore discontinued. N4, 000 was the flat rate being collected on every school fees then. However, under the watch of the present Government, 5.5 per cent charge is made on every transaction now made through the POS system. This means that the charges accruing to the operators are almost two times higher than
what they used to be.”

Meanwhile, students of the university through their President-elect, Olusegun Ifade, have appealed to both the lecturers and government to find a lasting solution to the matter.

Head Corporate Affairs Division, OOU, Niyi Oduwole, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone said, “We are trying to resolve the matter. It is not a strike per se.”

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