THE non-academic staff of the University of Lagos (Unilag) yesterday protested round the campus to get management to meet their demands.
Under the aegis of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) – Unilag chapter, the workers urged management to source its outstanding allowances from its internally generated revenue (IGR) in order to fulfil its obligations.
The union said as at this month, the outstanding allowances for each member stand at N2,640,000 and N1, 185,000 for the senior and junior staff.
SSANU-Unilag Chairman Comrade Adekola Adetomiwa, said the union had written the governing council on the issue about five times, but got no response.
According to him, the 2009 agreement acknowledges nine allowances and mandates the federal Government to take care of five. Universities’ governing councils, he added, are to handle the rest via their IGR.
Unilag, he said, had the resources to pay the workers from its IGR, noting that SSANU and other sister unions (except the Academic Staff Union of Universities) are on strike nationwide over discrepancy in the sharing formula of the N30 billion earned allowances given to federal universities.
Adetomiwa said: “While the fight for the injustice committed at the federal level should be vehemently sustained, this piece is to enlighten us about the injustice going on under our roof at the local level and to aggregate our unanimous resolve to fight the local injustice. We shall continue to challenge and engage our council to come out of complacency and fulfil its own obligation with our members in line with the 2009 agreement. I consider it as complacency when the magnitude of cash accruable to Unilag as IGR is compared to what obtains in other universities.”
In 2012, he said, the university senate set up a standing committee which recommended that hazard allowance be paid to senior and junior staff at N30,000 and N15,000. Another committee inaugurated by the Governing Council in 2015, the SSANU chief said, conducted a peer review and upheld those allowances.
He accused management of coercing the workers to return to work.
“Last week, the erstwhile chairman of the union, Comrade Oriwaye Adefolalu, and I were invited and briefly detained. We became guests of the police and Directorate of State Service (DSS). We were taken from the comfort of our homes in the night. I was not told my offence and no charge was preferred against me. I only know that the enemy of our welfare struggle was at work. This unwarranted intimidation of our leaders has been taken up by the legal team raised by the union secretariat in Abuja,” he said.
But the university public relations officer, Mrs Taiwo Oloyede, pleaded for more time to respond.
“I have heard all you said but I will get back to you because I don’t want to give you wrong information,” she told our reporter.