Oyo state government has lashed out at the lecturers of the six state-owned tertiary institutions saying that it would not succumb to any form of threat in addressing whatever grievances they have.
However, the government, which appealed to the workers to thread the path of reasoning, denied the allegations of owning the workers to the tune of 15 months salaries arrears.
Academic and non-academic staff unions working in the institutions issued a 14-day ultimatum to the government to pay their 15 months outstanding salaries, failure of which might compel them to embark on an indefinite strike action.
The decision on the 14 days ultimatum was reached at the end of a meeting of delegates from the affected six schools. The ultimatum takes immediate effect from last week Friday that the decision was reached.
The affected schools are The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo, Oyo State College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora, The Ibarapa polytechnic, Eruwa, The Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki, and College of Education, Lanlate.
The state’s commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela while reacting to the ultimatum and issue of 15 months salaries arrears said although the state would not deny owing the workers, but, it is not 15 months across the board as claimed by the workers.
While stating that the state government has never relented in paying the approved 25 percent subventions to all the schools, he noted that what the government was trying to do is it audit the schools as a way of blocking leakages and then know the true financial needs of each school from facts and findings if the government audit committee.
He assured that government is not unaware of the challenges facing the institutions but that, the era of largesse and frivolous spending is over in the tertiary institutions noting that the state government currently spends 100 percent of her allocation on paying core workers salaries and only relying on her internally Generated Revenues (IGR) and others to fund other commitments in the state.
“The point is that when things are generalized, there is always a misconception, the position of Oyo state government is that education will be supported including the welfare of staff in all sectors including all tertiary institutions, but the point is that the era of wastages is over. We must know the financial positions of all the institutions and do what we must do as a government to block leakages.
“Let me state that when I saw the report, I also made some consultations, Oyo state government has been giving subventions to virtually all the 7 institutions in the state on a regular basis. The complaint is that that subvention is not sufficient. We are not claiming that it is sufficient but our own claim is that until we know the exact figure of what we need to put in that is what we will support them with. When you give an ultimatum, it is just to show anger or something but what we are saying is that, as government, we believe in facts and figures.
“What have we done? What we have done is that all the tertiary institutions in the state, we have sent auditors to those institutions and they have given us some preliminary reports on some of the institutions. We will get the comprehensive report soon. Once we get the comprehensive reports, in terms of facts and figures, we will do the needful as a government. And the management will also do the needful.
“We are appealing to the members of the tertiary institutions that they should give peace a chance. We don’t want a repeat of Lautech crisis again in the state. And as you can see that the Lautech issues have been resolved, all these issues will also be resolved soon.”