…action uncalled for, says Commissioner
By Mike Adeyemi
Members of academic and non-academic staff union of Kwara State College of Education, Ilorin, on Monday protested over the non payment of their salary backlog.
The staffers in their multitude converged on the premises of the college, chanting solidarity songs to appeal to Kwara State Government on their plight.
Speaking with our reporter, the Chairman Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) of the college, Naji Anas said, the workers had earlier met with the council of the school in an attempt to shelve the protest.
“The meeting ended in deadlock but the provost pleaded with us not to stage the protest, as we would have received salary alert by noon but we declined.
“It is unfortunate that despite all pledges made by Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed to pay the arrears last week, up till now, he has reneged on his promises,” he said.
Similarly, the Public Relations Officer of the Academic Staff Union of the College(COEASU), Babatunde Ajadi however appealed to the state government to fulfil its promise to the workers.
“The Kwara State Government has failed us four times now, and we wonder why there is a delay from the Ministry of Finance after they had announced in the media that N110 million has been released to settle part of the debt owed our staff.
“About two weeks ago when we met the state Governor, he promised to settle all these problems on or before last Friday. We waited till Friday and here we are still waiting.
“We have our October, November, December intervention fund from the state government yet to be released. We also have our 2014 to date promotion cash backing not paid.
“All these and several other problems are causing much pain to our members and we have on several occasions approached the state government and well-meaning Kwarans without any progress.
“Our members were apprehensive ahead of the Christmas and New Year festival, “Ajadi said.
In his reaction, the Provost of the college, Dr Abdulraheem Yusuf, said he inherited the problem on his assumption of office.
“The government is already aware of this issue but we all know what is going on today in this country.
“We have discussed with them and they believe us that yes, we would do everything humanly possible to ensure that their demands are met,” the Provost said.
On how soon the workers would get their outstanding salaries, Dr Yusuf said, “We are leaving for the Government House and we are going to discuss. We believe that we have a listening governor. We believe that he will listen to the demands of the staff of the college.”
However when contacted on the telephone yesterday, the Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Barr. Abdullahi Alikinla said the protest was needless, adding that the state government and the leadership of the workers had resolved the issue mutually.
“The fund got to the bank last Friday and due to public holiday, it could not be disbursed.
As from Tuesday next week, the bank will commence disbursement of the money to individual account of the staff,” Alikinla disclosed.