Anger in Kwara over nonpayment of teachers
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.