The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), University of Lagos chapter, on Wednesday staged a peaceful protest over the sharing formulae of the N1.6 billion earned allowances by the Federal Government.
The Chairman of the association, Mr Adetola Adetomiwa, said that the N1.6 billion was part of the issues contained in the agreement the association entered into with the Federal Government in 2009.
He said that the earned allowances comprised responsibility, excess work load and hazard allowances.
He said that a total of N30 billion was disbursed by the Federal Government to all the federal universities across the country for the earned allowance.
Adetomiwa said that the disbursement took place about two months ago before President Goodluck Jonathan’s meeting with the leadership of ASUU.
“Of this amount, a total of N1.6 billion was accruable to our university to be shared by an existing formula, which is N15, 000 for the junior staff spread across 18 months arrears.
“And N30, 000 for senior staff spread across same 18 months.
“Rather than follow this sharing formula as stipulated for all the labour unions of the institution, the university authorities decided now to pay each of us N15, 000 across board and this is highly unacceptable.
“I want you to know that this same earned allowance has since been paid our colleagues in other universities, the way it is supposed to be, that is N15, 000 for the junior staff and N30, 000 for the senior staff.
“Why then should our own here in the University of Lagos be different from others or is there something going on that we do not know about?
“To this effect, we have given the university management 24 hours to follow the existing template on the sharing formula of this fund and do the right thing in order to avoid further problems in the university.”
The SSANU boss said that the association was the precursor of the demands for the earned allowances and therefore, there was no reason for the management to “shortchange members of the association’’.
He said that the incident if unresolved might also affect academic activities in the university in the event that ASUU calls off its strike.
Adetomiwa expressed willingness to follow up the issue until justice was achieved because according to him, government had done what was expected and there was no reason for some individuals to scuttle such kind gesture.
“We want to follow this matter up to any level because it is high time we instilled discipline and sanity into our various university systems, which we all agree, has been suffering from a lot of challenges.
“We must all strive to join hands with government to ensure that we do the right thing so that we get a university of our dream, one which we shall all be proud of as a people,” he said.
Mr Okeowo Oluwaseun, the Financial Secretary of the Association told NAN that the current crisis generated by the sharing formula adopted by the university was an internal one and that the university must ensure that the issue did not get out of hand.
Oluwaseun said that there protest was justified owing to the fact that the universities had since shared the earned allowance as was contained in their respective templates as was amended in 2012.
“It is because the university has been enjoying some measure of peace, which is why the management feels it can do whatever it wants to without being challenged,’’ he said. (NAN)
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