Clement Adeyi, Osogbo
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has raised the alarm that Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho, is on the brinks of collapse.
The union said the development at the institution was due to neglect by the two owner-states, Oyo and Osun occasioned by poor funding, understaffing, non-payment of staff salaries and lack of welfare package for the staff.
ASUU said if urgent action is not taken by the states to adequately fund the institution, it would soon go moribund.
The union members, led by the Zonal Coordinator, Ibadan Zone of ASUU, Dr. Ade Adejumo, stated this yesterday in Osogbo, the state capital, while addressing newsmen on the staff salary and poor funding crisis that had hit the university.
He said members of the union are being owed 10 months salary arrears as well as arrears of promotion allowances.
Adejumo lamented that the non-payment of salaries and welfare package had made life unbearable for the members and added that consequently, many lecturers had resigned to seek greener pastures elsewhere, while many more had retired.
Adejumo disclosed that the school was grossly understaffed as there has not been replacements to fill the vacancies.
The union, therefore, called on Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and his Osun State counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola, to let the public know if they could no longer fund the university, instead of running an institution that cannot cater for the staff’s welfare, or pay them salary as at when due.
ASUU condemned the governors’ claim of inability to fund the school because they are surviving on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
“They should come out and disclose their plans for LAUTECH. If they want to liquidate the university, they should be bold enough to tell the whole world that they are liquidating the university,” Adejumo said.
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The union also ruled out the option of increment of tuition fee as a way out of the poor funding crisis.
It argued that such a move would force poor students out of school, which consequence would be increased spate of prostitution, armed robbery and diverse forms of criminality.
“We are currently on two weeks warning strike. We are calling the attention of the public and the-two owner states to the fact that LAUTECH is on the brink of final disintegration.
“We are not so much concerned about almost 10 months arrears of salary and promotion arrears. We are concerned about the non-funding of the university. It is no longer inadequate funding, it is non-funding,” Adejumo said.
The union also lamented that the Memorandum of Action (MoA) signed by both government and the union before the last industrial action by the members was called off had not been respected by the government.
“As it is now, the governors have turned their back on the university,” Adejumo said.
Adejumo disclosed that the members of the union had proceeded on a two-week warning strike to give an opportunity to Governors Ajumobi and Aregbesola to do the needful.
The union, however, called on the public to prevail on the governors to urgently address the situation before the university goes into oblivion.