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Monday, November 6, 2017

Ajimobi Succumbs To Pressure, To Appoint Governing Councils For Striking Oyo Schools

Ajimobi Succumbs To Pressure, To Appoint Governing Councils For Striking Oyo Schools

The Oyo State government has said it will, this week, set up governing councils for the six striking state-owned tertiary institutions.
It described the measure as a “holistic view” of addressing challenges in the sector.

The government, however, said it was not owing 15-month arrears, as workers in the institutions claim.
Last Friday, members of academic and non-academic staff unions in the six institutions began an indefinite strike.
Protests were held simultaneously in Ibadan, the state capital; Oyo, Saki, Igboora, Eruwa and Lanlate.
The affected schools are: Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology (OYSCATECH); The Ibarapa Polytechnic, Eruwa; The Polytechnic, Ibadan; The Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki; The College of Education, Lanlate and Emmanuel Alayande College of Education (EACOED), Oyo.
Workers initially gave a 14-day ultimatum to the government, saying they embarked on the strike to protest cut in their salary by 25 per cent and unpaid 13 to 15 months’ arrears.
Speaking after a meeting with heads of the institutions, Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela said the government was looking at how to resolve their problems.
The commissioner noted that despite workers’ claims, the government is neither owing them nor stopped paying subvention to the schools.
He said: “We have just met with heads of tertiary institutions and we are making progress. One of the issues has been addressed. Ordinarily, governing councils are supposed to be managing institutions.
“So, we are not looking at the issues from microscopic perspectives; we are looking at the problems holistically and solve them downwards.
“This week, by the grace of God, we are going to constitute the governing councils for the tertiary institutions. That is one of the fallouts of the meeting. Subsequently, the issue of funding will be resolved.
“But, as I said, subvention is support, and government has not reneged in granting subventions to the institutions. We have not reneged. However, if the subvention is not enough, it is a different ball game.´
On claims of insufficient funds to the schools, Olowofela insisted that the amount given to each school was based on what the government could afford at the moment.
He said: “When you are talking about percentages, what you called 25 per cent might actually be a 100 per cent. If you say you are offering assistance to somebody, the assistance is dependent on the situation. Currently, what we are saying is that, yes, we used to give a certain amount of subvention, but now it is that amount divided by four. It is still subvention because it is still assistance.
“That is what we have the capacity to do or that we can afford this time around. So, we must be careful when we are misconstruing the concept of owing workers certain percentages of salary. No, we are not owing.”

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