Ondo varsity workers protest non-payment of N35,000 award

Workers of the Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko, Ondo State, grounded activities at the state institution over the alleged failure of the institution to implement the N35,000 palliative wage award approved to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal.

The workers under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, the Non-Academic Staff Union and the National Association of Academic Technologists, said the palliative had not been received by the staff members of the university since its payment began in Ondo State in November 2023.

The protesters said their action was staged to appeal to the state government and the school authorities to grant them the payment as other state workers had been receiving theirs except the employees of the tertiary institutions in Ondo State.

The Chairman of Joint Action Committee of the Ondo State Tertiary Institutions and the AAUA , Comrade Tayo Ogungbeni, said the protest was to tell the state government not to deny them of their right to the payment of the wage award agreed, by the federal and state governments in collaboration with labour unions for all workers in Nigeria.

Ogungbeni said all workers in Ondo State had been receiving the payment except tertiary institutions in Ondo State in which Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, was also left out.

He said, “We have started this protest since Tuesday all over the state’s tertiary institutions in Ondo State. They did it in Olusegun Agagu University in Okitipupa, University of Medical Sciences in Ondo city, and the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko. We do not want our rights to be taken for granted.

“The Federal Government announced a palliative wage award of N35,000 for all workers in Nigeria, we are part of the general work force. So, why is Ondo State excluding us?  Why are they saying we are not qualified for this palliative payment? We are asking for that money now, we know our governor wants our welfare, because everyone goes to the same market. We also pay for the same fuel price. What we asked for is our right.

“The state government needs to increase the subvention given to the AAUA. There should be an immediate opening of the university main gate, payment of the entitlements of all re-absorbed staff and retirement benefits to our retired staff.”

In his own remarks, the Chairman of the Non-Academic Staff Union, Comrade Ekundayo Abiodun, declared that the association would not stop until their demands were attended to.

“Immediately after the removal of fuel subsidy in Nigeria, the Federal Government declared this palliative wage because the effect of this removal was too much on Nigerians. Those in the federal institutions have received theirs, workers in the Ondo State Civil Service have also been paid two months, but the state-owned institutions in the state have not received any. We are left out, which is unfair.

“I will like to inform that this is stage one of the action. We are going to go further concerning this issue if the government seems not to listen. Then, we go to the second stage of the action,” the union leader declared.

Addressing the protesting workers, the university’s Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor Adebisi Adaramola, said the university was aware of the development as they were making all efforts to ensure the state government paid the money, urging the union to be patient with the authorities.

“We understand that some workers have been paid in Ondo State, but the employees of the university have not received theirs. We had tried to convince them that the state government has not sent this money. We are making all necessary efforts to contact the government”, the don appealed.

The post Ondo varsity workers protest non-payment of N35,000 award first appeared on Nigeria Newspapers Online.