Management Yet To Receive NASU’s Earned Allowances From FG –OAU PRO
By Akinola Kehinde and Durodola Abiola
In the heat of the ongoing NASU’s demonstration in Obafemi Awolowo University over the nonpayment of her members’ 64 months earned allowances, different allegations have been raised including that the school management has received the money meant for that purpose from the Federal Government but has refused to pay.
During an interview by OAU Olofofo, the University Public Relations Officer, Mr Abiodun Olanrewaju has denied the reports that the school management has received the earned allowances meant for NASU members but refuses to pay.
“Well, the NASU protest, by virtue of what the constitution says, every union, every society, every organization has the right to protest. But the basis of that protest must be genuine and objective. NASU claims that the federal government has paid the money to pay annual allowances. But to the best of my knowledge, with apology to the NASU, the federal government has not paid a dime to the school administration.
“Let me add that the annual allowances are not peculiar to OAU. The non-payment of these allowances is not peculiar to OAU. All federal universities have not been paid these allowances. If you go to federal university, Akure, University of Ibadan, University of Lagos, University or Benin, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, University of Ilorin. All of them have not been paid these annual allowances. But you know, OAU believes in militancy and thinking that we are the champion of the masses, but the management says that by the moment the federal government pays their money, the university authority would begin implementation immediately.
The University PRO further claims that NASU’s earned allowances have accumulated over 64 months but said the management does not have the financial muscle to pay them independently.
“Nobody is disputing that (64 months allowances accumulation). If you put that money together, the university cannot have means of paying it. It is the federal government that entered into agreement with them. It is the federal government that entered into agreement with NASU, SSANU, NAAT and ASUU. And it is the same federal government that can give the financial backing to the terms of agreement. You will agree with me that they are not fighting the university management per say, they are fighting that the university management should find way of paying this annual allowances. Not that the federal government has paid this money but they are telling the university management to find way and means of paying this money to them. And we say no, no. All of us will get this money including the Vice Chancellor but what are saying in essence is that, it is the federal government that has financial muscle that could give kits to what they are demanding for. And basically speaking, if you want the federal government to pay this money, I am of the opinion that they should have directed this energy to Abuja and not OAU.
Also speaking on the current break the students have been mandated to proceed on, Mr Olanrewaju said that the school was not closed rather, a mid-term break was given. He further stated that the university management will recall the students once it considers it appropriate.
“We never close the university. We told you that we gave you 'mid-semester break... I have issued this mid-semester break circular for more than four times since I have assumed the duty of PRO of the university. So, for most of you who are in part one, two or three here, you will say in your set, we have never heard of 'mid-semester break'. Now, if you graduate and leave the school and another set comes in, part one, two or three. If there is scenario that would make us to ask them to go on a mid-semester break, they would be claiming what you are claiming. So, nobody can link us to the history among all of you here, nobody. So, more than two or three times, I have issued it myself. So we have done it on several occasions not once, not twice. So, I am in the better position to tell you and not you to tell me. For you not to have had it doesn't mean that it has never happened on this campus. During Prof. Fabode era, the immediate past Vice Chancellor, we did it twice. During Prof. Makanjuola era, we did it once. So, what are you saying?” the PRO said.