Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
The Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola has met with the management of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) over the threat by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to embark on strike.
The governor, who was attending the UN’s 74th General Assembly, was represented at the meeting by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Benedict Alabi, while the LAUTECH delegation was led by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Michael Ologunde.
ASUU had on last week threatened to embark on strike because Osun State is owing its members two months’ arrears of salaries.
But the representatives of ASUU at the meeting disowned the content of the story as published by most online and traditional media, saying that there was no time the union ever singled out Osun as being responsible for the delay in paying their salaries.
The union was represented at the meeting by the Welfare Officer, Dr. Olaniyan Olatunji and Chief Adeniyi Adediran.
The union’s claim that it did not single out Osun in its communique was supported by the vice-chancellor, who read the communique to buttress the argument.
To this end, the governor requested ASUU to issue a rejoinder stating that it is debunking the report that accused Osun wrongly with regard to the running of LAUTECH.
On the salaries arrears, the governor said: “As a state, we have never been found wanting in the discharge of our responsibility and we will never waver in our duties to our citizens.
“The arrangement was that when Oyo is paying salaries of the workers in LAUTECH, Ogbomosho, we will be paying that of LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, here in Osogbo.
“But since 2013, we have been paying that of Osogbo alone. In addition to that, we were still contributing to LAUTECH Ogbomoso. In fact, in 2017, when it was agreed that we should pay N1 billion each, we paid ours. But did our sister state pay? VC, I am asking you.
“The records are with the university management. We make our releases promptly. Whatever grey areas that need to be sorted out will be done between the two states. I appeal to ASUU to extend its ultimatum by another week. Before the expiration, we would have met to decide the way forward,” Oyetola added.
The vice-chancellor, who confirmed at the meeting that Oyo State did not pay the said N 1 billion, but only made some payments by installment, appealed to both state governments to save the institution from losing its rating as one of the best universities in the country.