Anger in Kwara over non­pay­ment of teach­ers

Daily Trust - - EDUCATION - From Romoke W. Ah­mad, Ilorin

The log­ger­heads over non­pay­ment of salaries to work­ers of Kwara State ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions by the state gov­ern­ment has re­sulted into in­def­i­nite in­dus­trial ac­tion by lec­tur­ers.

The work­ers said it be­came nec­es­sary for them to em­bark on strike since the state gov­ern­ment has con­tin­ued to pay lit­tle or no at­ten­tion to their plight, adding that some of their mem­bers have re­signed as a re­sult of the un­told hard­ship meted on them over the un­paid ar­rears.

How­ever, the state gov­ern­ment re­cently in a state­ment de­clared that salaries of the state work­ers have been paid.

Mean­while, the Com­mit­tee of Unions in Ter­tiary In­sti­tu­tions (CUTI) owned by the state gov­ern­ment had is­sued a 21day ultimatum but which has al­ready lapsed. It sub­se­quently is­sued a fresh 14-day ultimatum to the state gov­ern­ment to pay all ar­rears of work­ers’ salaries or face in­dus­trial ac­tion.

The strik­ing unions are the aca­demic and non-aca­demic staff unions and those of Kwara Col­leges of Ed­u­ca­tion in llorin, Oro, Lafi­agi and the Col­lege of Ara­bic and lslamic Le­gal Stud­ies in llorin.

Al­though, the Kwara State Polytech­nic is ex­pected to be part of the in­sti­tu­tions af­fected, Daily Trust learnt that its work­ers’ salaries have been paid from the in­ter­nally gen­er­ated rev­enues of the school.

Sub­ven­tion that usu­ally comes from the gov­ern­ment have been stopped for some time now.

Ear­lier last week, the NonAca­demic Staff Union (NASU) of the af­fected in­sti­tu­tions had em­barked on an in­def­i­nite strike over non­pay­ment of five months salaries.

But Gover­nor Ab­dul­fa­tah Ahmed urged them to re­turn to work and ex­er­cise pa­tience while his gov­ern­ment seeks reme­dies to the prob­lem.

The chair­man of the unions, Com­rade Ab­dulKa­reem Amuda-Kan­nike, while speak­ing to our cor­re­spon­dent said the state gov­ern­ment has not paid the monies nei­ther has it re­sponded to their re­quests nor in­vited them for a meet­ing to ne­go­ti­ate. He said they em­barked upon in­def­i­nite strike as a last re­sort.

Last week, the state gov­ern­ment pro­moted over 1,000 civil ser­vants de­spite its in­abil­ity to pay salaries but when asked if ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions work­ers were af­fected, the chair­man of the unions said their mem­bers were left out of the pro­mo­tion ex­er­cise.

Stu­dents in the af­fected in­struc­tions say they have been frus­trated by the strike.

The state gov­ern­ment re­cently, dur­ing its monthly brief­ing, said ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions are ex­pected to pay their salaries from the in­ter­nally gen­er­ated rev­enue be­cause they are among the rev­enue gen­er­at­ing agen­cies in the state. This in­cludes the state owned me­dia houses.

Gover­nor Ab­dul­fa­tah Ahmed had said: “We will re­view what we used to give rev­enue gen­er­at­ing agen­cies and our ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions be­cause the fed­eral al­lo­ca­tion kept re­duc­ing and as soon as the fed­eral al­lo­ca­tions im­prove, they will all re­ceive their salaries.”

The Se­nior Spe­cial As­sis­tant to the gover­nor on Me­dia and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, Dr. Muideen Ako­rede, ap­pealed to the strik­ing work­ers to re­turn to work.

“Gov­ern­ment calls on the strik­ing work­ers to re­turn to work while we work out a so­lu­tion to the prob­lem in con­junc­tion with the author­i­ties of the af­fected in­sti­tu­tions,” he said.

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