By; Bayo Akamo, Ibadan.
Non-Teaching staff unions of the University of Ibadan embarked on protest over non payment of shortfall in their salaries and unpaid arrears of allowances.
The non teaching unions comprising of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), Senior Staff Union of Universities (SSANU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), grounded administrative and business activities throughout the Institution’s campus.
Sources close to the non teaching unions said the workers are protesting non-payment of staff of their staff school, non-payment of arrears and non-remittance of deductions to their cooperative societies and unions since December 2015 by the University authorities.
During the protest, the non teaching unions members locked all the entrance gates into the University which resulted in heavy traffic in the ever busy UI-Ojoo way and the UI-Bodija market- Secretariat expressway for hours.
The protesters led by the Institution’s NASU Chairman, Comrade Segun Arojo and the SSANU Chairman, Comrade Wale Akinremi shot down internal transport system forcing newly admitted students and lecturers going for exams to trek to their destination.
It was gathered that though the University is to resume formally next week, the postgraduate examinations are still ongoing in some departments in the Institution.
However, a reliable source in the institution declared that the University had since November 2015 been receiving a shortfall from the Federal government some to the tune of N301million. While the wage bill of the university stands at N932million per month, it received N632m in December and N782m in January with a shortfall of about 500million naira which made remittance of deductions to unions and payment of arrears of allowances impossible.
Speaking with journalists, during the protest, the SSANU Chairman Barrister Wale Akinremi stressed that the demonstration was not only to protest delayed payment of salaries but to protest the non-democratic nature of the university administration over the situation of things on campus.
He maintained that the university administration had met with unions and agreed to some understandings which in the last few months had not been attended to, saying, “as representatives of the people, all the unions must be carried along in issues affecting their welfare and urged the federal government to increase allocation to the premier university so as not to plunge it into crisis”.
The University of Ibadan Director of Communication, Mr Olatunji Oladejo in his reaction said the protest was unfortunate, saying the university received shortfall in personal cost from the Federal Government thereby affecting the deductions and cooperative.
Mr Oladejo maintained that the Institution’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Idowu Olayinka was concern about the situations and has scheduled an urgent meetings with the unions immediately, adding that “recently, the Vice Chancellor embark on Faculty visit where he had mentioned the short fall and the faculties see reasons with him but the union leadership were not present then”.