EKITI, Nigeria – Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ekiti State University (EKSU) chapter, has cried out over increasing rate of deaths and illnesses among members over unpaid salaries spanning over nine months.
The academic body said it would no longer tolerate or cooperate with the university authority over unpaid salaries and wages since it has been affecting the lives of its members.
Addressing a press conference at EKSU in Ado Ekiti on Friday, ASUU chairman, Dr. Kayode Arogundade, explained that the geometric increase in the wage bill of the university from N380 million to N502 million caused the inability of the institution to pay up to date.
“The academic community of the university has become a source of scorn, ridicule and victim of embarrassment from the members of the larger society, owing largely to the inability to live up to their family expectations. We view this with serious concerns, more so that the university has not shown enough commitment to staff welfare.
“ASUU as a matter of urgency and civility impresses it on the management to pay up all the nine months outstanding salary of workers with immediate effect”, he said.
Arogundade said except the university pay up all salaries, that he could no longer guarantee good working relationship between his members and the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Eddy Olanipekun, who is a former ASUU chairman in EKSU and Ilorin zone.
The ASUU boss urged governor Kayode Fayemi to implement the outcome of the Prof Bode Asubiojo-led visitation panel, which vividly addressed the issues of tax, wage bill and other academic issues in the university.
He said the union won’t contemplate suing the state government for implementing the new tax law in the university since members have been paying even above what was stipulated by the personal income tax 2011.
“It surprises us that the university is owing nine months salary when we are being owed four months subvention. We found out that it was because the wage bill has increased to N502 million when the subvention is N260m. The shortfall comes from our IGR, which will be difficult for the university to meet monthly.
“We won’t issue empty threat but when we are ready, we will strike. The VC understands our language. We won’t care to take them to court for interpretation. We are paying higher than what was contained in the tax law. The government must look inwards and increase the IGR rather than saying we should go back to 2018 tax law that will create more burdens.
“If the government found it comfortable to implement new tax law, they should also implement the white paper’s recommendations on increased wage bill”, he stated.