By Emmanuel Adeleke
The Ladoke Akintola University(LAUTECH) chapter of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Wednesday, said that any branch that breaks away from the ongoing strike will lose out from the benefits of the struggle, including infrastructure development.
The union, in a statement jointly signed by the Chairman and Secretary Professors Biodun Olaniran and Toyin Abegunrin, after their congress, said that her members have resolved to forge ahead with the strike and pursue it to a logical conclusion which according to them is imminent.
The union was reacting to the threat issued by the state governor, Seyi Makinde, that he will stop the payment of subvention until the lecturers returned to classroom.
According to the union, “the government should not see itself or student as the target of the strike but as beneficiaries of ASUU strike as the intervention of most state governments in terms of subvention has been used as part-payment of salaries.”
The union said it was shocked to hear from the Commissioner of Education that the state had been paying LAUTECH 100 per cent subvention, when the management has already told the union that only 55 per cent subvention comes from government while the balance of 45 per cent is sought by the institution through Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
The ASUU leaders stated that the Commissioner’s claim on subvention has created further distrust between the management and the unions as to who is saying the truth and who is not.
“The congress of ASUU, LAUTECH Branch was held on Tuesday, 07/06/2022. The congress deliberated extensively on the press interview granted to the Honourable Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology by Fresh FM on Saturday 28th of May, 2022 and His Excellency, Governor Seyi Makinde by BCOS on Saturday, 4th June, 2022, respectively.
“In the interview, the Honourable Commissioner stated that LAUTECH has been receiving full subvention. This position is at variant with the submission of the university administration, that only about 55 percent of the subvention is provided by the government while the remaining 45 percent is sought by the university via Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
“Our union is in darkness of the true situation of things. Ordinarily, IGR is expected to be used to defray arrears of various allowance owed the workers by the university, but rather, the university administration attributed its inability to defray these outstanding arrears to it having to augment salary with as much as 45 percent of the monthly subvention to the university.
“However, the claim by the Honourable Commissioner has further worsened the distrust of our union on the sincerity of the university administration, believing that welfare of our members is being toyed with (with a political game).
“In the interview conducted by the BCOS, His Excellency stated that the lecturers are insensitive to the plight of the students otherwise; the academic workers of the branch would not have joined the strike.
“We wish to state here categorically, as we have always done that the strike is not targeted at any individual or group of individuals or the government of the state. The strike is not about Federal or State universities but purely about the University System in Nigeria.
“The university system is one (as regulated the National University Commission). ASUU too is one. There is only one Chatter of ASUU with several Branches including LAUTECH Branch. Virtually all public tertiary institutions particularly public universities are beneficiaries of ASUU’ struggles in Nigeria.
“Currently, the responsibility of most state governments in Nigeria to the state-owned universities is limited to part-payment of monthly salaries. The responsibilities of capital projects has been completely abdicated and surrendered to TETFUND and Needs Assessments Project of ASUU’s struggles.
“An inventory of buildings, laboratories and workshops equipment in all public universities will confirm this. In recent times, all branches that break ASUU’s strikes have been made to forfeit the benefit/proceed of the ASUU’s struggle.” the statement read
The union further explained that the responsibilities of capital projects has been totally abdicated and surrendered to TETFUND and NEEDS assess projects of ASUU’s struggles.
The lecturers added that they are very sensitive to the plight of the students, adding that the government should thank the union for the struggle which have helped in training its members in human capacity development through TETFUND grants.