By Deborah Oladejo, Osogbo
Osun State Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola on Thursday, met with the management of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) over the threat by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) of the institution to embark on strike.
But the representatives of ASUU at the meeting disowned the content of the story as published by most online and traditional media outlets, saying there was no time the union ever singled out Osun as being responsible for the delay in paying their salaries.
The governor, who is attending the UN’s 74th General Assembly, was represented at the meeting by the state’s Deputy Governor, Mr. Benedict Alabi, while the LAUTECH delegation to the meeting, was led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Michael Ologunde.
ASUU had on Wednesday threatened to embark on strike because Osun was owing its members two months’ arrears of salaries.
The union was represented at the meeting by Dr. Olaniyan Olatunji, Welfare Officer, and Chief Adeniyi Adediran.
The union’s claim that it did not single out Osun in its communique was supported by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Michael Ologunde, who read from the copy of the communique to buttress their argument.
Following this development, the governor has requested that ASUU issue a rejoinder, since it was disowing the report that accused Osun wrongly with regard to the running of LAUTECH.
On the salaries being owed ASUU, 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, Ogbomoso, 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 N1billion each, we paid ours. But did our sister state pay? Mr. 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.
Earlier, 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 instalment, appealed to Osun and Oyo governments to save the institution from losing its rating as one of the best universities in the country.