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Unpaid allowance sparks protest at university convocation

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Unpaid allowance sparks protest at university convocation

The staff of the Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology (OAUSTHEC) in Okitipupa, an Ondo State-owned institution, voiced their grievances on Monday regarding the delayed payment of their N35,000 wage award by the state government.

The workers, organised under the Joint Action Committee (JAC), held a protest during the 2nd convocation ceremony at the university attended by Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

Protesters displayed placards with messages such as, “Pay us our wage award,” “Justice for workers: N35,000 is our right,” and “We deserve fair compensation.”

Dayo Temola, Chairman of JAC, criticised the state government’s lack of action in addressing the workers’ financial concerns, emphasising the hardships faced by the university staff due to the non-payment of the wage award and other allowances.

“Our joint demand is that they should pay us our N35,000 wage award that had been paid to all categories of workers in the state. We are also demanding the implementation of the 2019 minimum wage.

“We are in 2024, yet we have not got the 2019 minimum wage, it is shameful and we patronize the same market as other workers who have been receiving. Everybody knows what is currently going on in the country even our current salaries can’t take us to the office again for a month.

“We also demand that the monthly subvention of the school should be increased by 100 per cent. The government promised us a billion (naira) on paper but has been giving us N63 million.

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“It is far lower than the wage bills of the university. As we speak, the university is owning billions of naira from cooperatives and some other allowances. That is our agitation,” he lamented.

During the convocation ceremony, Governor Aiyedatiwa made an exciting announcement aimed at supporting the development of OAUSTHEC.

The governor revealed a capital grant of N1.2bn from the 2024 budget to aid in the speedy completion of the School of Science’s abandoned buildings and other projects.

Adding to this generous gesture, Governor Aiyedatiwa highlighted that the institution’s monthly subvention of N91m would also be prioritised to enhance the school’s operations.

Furthermore, the governor vowed to expedite the completion of hostel buildings funded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC).

In a heartwarming gesture, Aiyedatiwa announced an automatic job offer from the Ondo State Government to the Best Graduating Student, Adedayo Taiwo Janet, as a reward for her hard work and dedication.

Reflecting on the institution’s roots, Governor Aiyedatiwa praised the founding fathers for their foresight and dedication to the school’s growth and development.

The positive impact of these announcements was echoed by the pro-chancellor of the university, Prof. Adebo Adesomoju, who expressed gratitude to Aiyedatiwa for his commitment to the ongoing construction of internal roads within the institution.

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