Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Varsity workers protest unpaid allowance at convocation

Workers of the Ondo State-owned Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology (OAUSTHEC) in Okitipupa on Monday protested over the non-payment of the N35,000 wage award by the state government.

The workers under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) almost disrupted the 2nd convocation event of the institution during Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa’s visit to the university for the ceremony.

The protesters were seen carrying placards of various inscriptions such as, “All we are saying, pay us wage award; “We deserve N35,000 wage award, pay us”; “Wage award is our right don’t deny us,”; “We patronize the same market, pay us N35,000 wage award,” among several others.

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Dayo Temola, the Chairman of JAC, who spoke during the protest, decried the attitude of the state government towards the plight of the tertiary institution workers.

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Temola, who expressed his disappointment over the refusal of the state government to pay the wage award and other allowances, said the institution workers were suffering.

“Our joint demand is that they should pay us our N35,000 wage award that had been paid to all categories of workers in the state. We are also demanding the implementation of the 2019 minimum wage.

“We are in 2024, yet we have not got the 2019 minimum wage, it is shameful and we patronize the same market as other workers who have been receiving. Everybody knows what is currently going on in the country even our current salaries can’t take us to the office again for a month.

“We also demand that the monthly subvention of the school should be increased by 100 per cent. The government promised us a billion (naira) on paper but has been giving us N63 million.

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“It is far lower than the wage bills of the university. As we speak, the university is owning billions of naira from cooperatives and some other allowances. That is our agitation,” he lamented.

Amid the protest, Governor Aiyedatiwa released the capital grant of N 1.2bn in the 2024 budget to OAUSTHEC for speedy completion of abandoned buildings of the School of Science and others.

Governor Aiyedatiwa, who announced the grant during the convocation ceremony, informed that the institution’s monthly subvention of N91m would also be given due consideration to enhance the operations of the school.

The governor also promised to facilitate the completion of the abandoned hostel buildings being funded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) without further delay.

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Aiyedatiwa, who commissioned the new Central Engineering Workshop Complex in the institution, also announced an automatic employment offer from the Ondo State Government to the Best Graduating Student, Adedayo Taiwo Janet.

He, however, commended the grand vision of the founding fathers of the institution for their foresight and commitment to the development of the school.

In his remarks, the pro-chancellor of the university, Prof. Adebo Adesomoju, appreciated Aiyedatiwa for directing the continuation of the ongoing construction of some internal roads in the institution.


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