Strike: I Won’t Sack Protesting Workers, VC Assures
The Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE), Ekiti State, Prof. Kayode Soremekun, on Tuesday, said he will not sack the leaders of the Senior Staff Union of Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) , who led a protest against him.
Soremekun noted that contrary to the allegation that the university's development had become dismal under his leadership, he has taken bold steps to expand the internally generated revenue of the university and shored up the number of courses from 30 to 49 with the recent accreditation of 19 more courses by the National Universities
The Vice Chancellor clarified that contrary to the position canvassed by the unions, the November salary has been paid before the new year’s festivity, while that of December was paid yesterday (Tuesday) after getting the subvention from the federal government.
He said his major preoccupation is how to develop the university and not to witch-hunt anybody on account of their legitimate agitations, stressing that he did not engage in arbitrary award of contracts and pilfering of the institution’s money for selfish motives.
He explained that the university has a strong Public Procurement Act as well as Financial and General Purposes Committee to scrutinize all dealings being undertaken by the management.
“As much as we are not going to victimize anybody, we will not also tolerate any act of lawlessness by unions, because we learnt many of the academic staff who didn’t join the protest were beaten. This was not good for academic environment and we will not allow that.
“We have paid the outstanding salaries and what we expect is for them to resume work. The idea that all allowances must be paid before resumption is not realizable now. But I want to appeal to them to see reason to allow for speedy settlement of this crisis”, he said.
The VC added : “The federal government has set up Wale Babalakin-led committee to dialogue with university workers and I expect them to await the outcome of the committee.
“The FG dialogue with university workers in 2009 and they appealed to universities with strong IGR to pay the hazard allowance. But what IGR can a university like FUOYE, which established five years ago makes?
"We are just trying to expand the scope by creating more courses to accommodate more youths and boost our revenue to be able to pay”, he clarified.
The VC lamented that the university is 24 hours hooked to generating set for effective power supply in the university, which cost a sum of N10 million monthly, saying he has signed agreement with Benin Electricity Distribution Company to link the school with the grid and reduce dependence on costly alternative power source.