LAUTECH: Purchase of 5 new cars spark crisis

Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso is passing through another phase of crisis as members of some workers’ unions started a protest last Thursday.
The workers’ unions under the aegis of Joint Action Committee, JAC, comprising the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), are at daggers drawn with the management of the institution over its unpaid earned annual allowance (EAA), running into years.
However, this is only the remote cause of the protests.
The immediate cause, ogbomosoinsightonline.comlearnt is the recent acquisition of five new exotic cars for principal officers of the university including the Acting Vice Chancellor, Registrar, Librarian, Bursar as well as Chairman of the Governing Council.


The purchase of the vehicles each said to be worth over N35m was condemned by members of the aggrieved associations who described the development as a proof of the management’s non-chalant attitude towards their plight.
“We are owed 8 years earned annual allowance. We have been demanding payment of this allowance to no avail, then, they bought five vehicles each costing about N35m for themselves. Where did they get such money that they could not alleviate our plight?” a member who spoke under conditions of anonymity submitted.
Though the debt was inherited by the present management, the patience of the union got snapped by the news of the car purchases, the brand of which could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report.
Due to the protest called by JAC, the management of the institution directed that the leaders be issued query letters on Friday, a move that triggered another demonstration yesterday.
Meanwhile, it is not yet clear whether the crisis will affect the ongoing first semester exams for old students and tests for the 100 level students, which started on Monday, July 12.
The examination and timetable committee, headed by Professor S.O. Adewoye, though in a memo has directed the postponement of the Monday’s papers due to the Eid-el Kabir holidays on Tuesday and Wednesday, asking that those papers be rescheduled by each faculty rep.
Efforts to speak with the leadership of JAC however was abortive as calls put to his mobile line did not go through.
The reaction of the university authorities on the matter could also not be obtained as at the time of filing this report.

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