The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko (AAUA) branch has raised the alarm over possible collapse of the institution under Governor of Oluwarotimi Akeredolu due to underfunding.
It said there was no reason to reduce budgetary allocation to the institution when the academic staff increased from 382 in the 2015/2016 academic session to 456 with 45 of them being Professors and the academic programmes increased from 61 to 63.
Rising from its congress at the weekened, the AAUA ASUU said it was worrisome that staffers of the institution have been on amputated net salaries for the past three years while four months salaries were yet to be paid.
Branch chairman of the institution, Dr. Simon Ehiabhi, who spoke to newsmen on the outcome of the meeting called for urgent financial intervention and increased funding (subvention) by Governor Akeredolu.
Ehiabhi said the monthly subvention to the institution has since been reduced to N148m monthly from the N212.5m it received in the 2015/2016 academic session.
Ehiabhi said the drop in the monthly subvention was negatively affecting capacity of the institution to discharge its responsibilities, including prompt payment of salaries, and release of Union and Cooperative deductions.
He accused the university management of owing ASUU-AAUA over N12m naira as members check-off dues, while the Academic Staff Cooperative Multipurpose Society (ASCMS) was being owned over N100m which are deductions from academic staff salaries.
According to him: “As a result of non-release of the check-off dues, it has become extremely difficult for the unions to carry out some statutory functions to members in particular and to the general public, while the ASCMS is also going through difficult challenges in promptly meeting the financial needs of its members.
“Despite the fact that AAUA had been rated as the best state University in Nigeria on several occasions and also in the 2020 webometrics ranking due to the commitment and dedication of staff of the University to the goals of University education, it is heartrending and unfortunate that the same members of staff are being subjected to poverty and penury as a result of non-payment of staff salaries as and when due.
“The once vibrant University campus is now full of staff with sad faces, wallowing in pains, sickness, deprivation, want, frustration and perhaps haplessness.
“The Union urges the State Government, as a matter of urgency, to bail the university out of its present financial predicament, as a short term measure, in order for the University to pay outstanding salaries of July, August, September and October 2020 and also the 10 months outstanding Union and Cooperative deductions in order to avoid imminent crisis and industrial disharmony.
“As a long-term measure, the budgetary allocation (subvention) to Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko should be appreciably increased to be able to accommodate staff wage bills and other University activities.”