Following the decision of Oyo and Osun States to conduct a forensic audit of the finance and staff of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) of the institution on Tuesday stated the need to audit should not replace the need to pay the staff who are already demoralized by the non-payment of salaries for eight months.
In a statement signed by its chairman and secretary, Dr Biodun Olaniran and Dr Toyin Abegunrin respectively, the lecturers described periodic auditing of universities as a recognised, standard and statutory procedure
It however argued that failure to carry out regular audit could not be blamed on staff.
Part of the statement reads: “While our union is not opposed to the exercise, it should not be used as an excuse to justify holding on to salaries of our members for eight months. Let the government fulfill its obligation as even recommended by its own visitation panel, then whatever auditing exercise they want to carry out can continue.
“Our union is a law-abiding one, and will not stand on the way of accountability and transparency but will not allow our members to be subjected to humiliation of economic deprivation and starvation for an “offence” they never committed. To us, the ploy by government to paint ASUU as standing in the way of auditing exercise is a cheap blackmail which cannot stand in the face of the logic of the present realities.”
Stressing that public universities run successfully when all stakeholders, particularly owners fulfill their obligations, LAUTECH ASUU accused the owner states of LAUTECH of abandoning their duties to the institution since 2013.
Last week, the state governments revealed that the institution was maintaining 97 bank accounts in various commercial banks, some of which have folded up.