Ekiti State University EKSU, Ado Ekiti says the Governing Council and the University Management are not lackadaisical to issues affecting the welfare of staff as speculated .
This followed an allegation of financial irregularities levelled against the governing council and management of the university by the Academic Staff Union of universities, EKSU chapter.
The union had in a press statement titled: “STOP THE PRETENCE AND DEAL WITH EKITI STATE UNIVERSITY’S FINANCIAL PROBLEMS” accused the Pro-Chancellor of the university of doing more harm than good to the institution.
The attack is sequel to the Press interview granted by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Professor Bamitale Omole on various national and state issues, relating to funding of tertiary education by the federal government, the IPPIS, COVID-19 and sundry issues.
In a statement, the Head, Directorate of Information & Corporate Affairs of the university, Mr Bode Olofinmuagun
worried over the attack on the Pro-chancellor, saying there is no where in the interview where the Chairman of Council mentioned ASUU-EKSU or made any unsavory remarks about the University, saying the reaction of ASUU-EKSU is unfortunate.
Olofinmuagun described the reaction of ASUU-EKSU as a reflection of the Union’s misgivings on the financial crisis being experienced in the University.
According to him, the Pro- Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Professor Bamitale Omole, ought to be commended for the interview he granted rather than being unjustifiably criticized”
He noted that, Professor Omole had, through the interview demonstrated his selflessness, deep understanding of the education sector and commitment to the development of EKSU as an institution and Ekiti in general.
Olofinmuagun said “As the Pro – Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Prof. Bamitale Omole has demonstrated since his appointment about two years ago, that he is a leader who is not driven or known to be interested in pecuniary interests unlike some of his predecessors in office who would be mounting pressure on the University Management for perquisites of office.
“Since his assumption of office about two years ago, Professor. Omole has not mounted any pressure on the University Management for his rightful and official entitlements.
“In the interview, he x-rayed issues concerning university education holistically where he spoke frankly unlike many typical government appointees and as someone who is well versed on the challenges confronting university education having been in the system consistently for about four decades.
”He alluded to the fact that the intervention of the Federal Government through TETFUND was a fall out of the various agitations of ASUU. He even went further to say that IPPIS does not capture the peculiar needs of our universities. This is an unassailable fact.
“It is interesting to note that the Press Statement issued by ASUU-EKSU admitted that the current authorities of the University inherited the present financial problems from the administration of the immediate past Vice Chancellor, Professor Samuel Oye Bandele, including non-release of six months subvention by the immediate past administration of Mr. Ayodele Fayose.
Therefore, indicting the Professor Bamitale Omole-led Governing Council amounts to unfairness, duplicity and double speak which is regrettable.
“To claim that the present Council Chairman “has done more harm than good by defending the non challant attitudes of Federal and State Governments” or that he “made beautiful but empty submissions about the underfunding problems being experienced by universities in Nigeria” is nothing, but a cheap blackmail and an abysmal lack of understanding of the interview under reference.
“To worsen the situation, the Pro-Chancellor was referred to as a liar by claiming that “the major undoing of his yarns” in the press release was when he said that: “the Vice Chancellor, in collaboration with faculties, is introducing courses in Artificial intelligence and Robotics, Big Data Analytics, Bioinformatics, Cyber Security, Nanotechnology, Cloud computing Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and Mechatronics”. This kind of personal abuse instead of addressing issues does not represent the best tradition of academia or ASUU in particular. Agreed that the programmes have not commenced, it is however, pertinent to note that the initiative to introduce these courses and others, which is in tandem with the vision of the Vice Chancellor (as contained in the Vice Chancellor’s vision and mission statement) is commendable. The delay in the commencement of the proposed programmes is obvious, which is not unconnected with the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Olofinmuagun stated further that the Governing Council and by extension, the administration of Dr Kayode Fayemi have been clearing the mess inherited in the education sector and also desirous of making Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti a world class university that would be able to compete favourably among the comity of universities in Nigeria.
He claimed the current Governing Council which was inaugurated on January 28, 2019 met the sum of N1, 914,867,338.00 as accumulated unpaid Cooperative money owed members of staff by the previous administration and within a year, a sum of N1,368,008,446.74 was paid to offset part of the accumulated debts arising from the unpaid cooperative deductions.
“For the sake of posterity, it should also be noted that the University has enjoyed a lot of support and financial interventions from Ekiti State government, under Dr. Kayode Fayemi. These include but not limited to:
release of a sum of over 32 million Naira to facilitate the accreditation of the MBBS programme which had been neglected for many years by previous administrations. It was this government’s intervention that eventually led to the MBBS programme being granted full accreditation thus, resulting in the graduation of the first set of Medical Doctors who had stagnated for almost ten (10) years.
“Donation of a 32-Seater Bus to the College of Medicine to meet part of the requirements for the accreditation of the Medical programme.
“Release of a sum of 50 million Naira to facilitate and purchase of necessary equipment for the accreditation of eighteen (18) undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of the University that were presented to the National Universities Commission in November/December, 2019. All the programmes had full accreditation.
“Facilitation of the signing of memoranda of understanding with two reputable estate developers and investors for the construction and provision of accommodation for principal officers, staff and students of the university.
“These developers/investors will be moving to site any moment from now.
In addition, it should be noted that despite the current precarious global economy, Ekiti State government has not reduced the monthly subvention given to the University unlike what is currently being experienced in some state universities in Nigeria. Sadly, the recent inability of the University to meet part of its financial obligations, especially the non remittance of some salary related deductions, is not unconnected with the lockdown which has seriously affected the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the University. More importantly, the failure of the past administration in the State to release six (6) months subvention to the University contributed in no small measure to the precarious financial situation of the university.
“It is also important to clear the air on the allegation of unremitted PAYE (Pay As You Earn) deductions to the State Inland Revenue Service.
” It is a well known fact that Professor Samuel Oye Bandele as Vice Chancellor did not remit these deductions to the Internal Revenue Service during his tenure.
However, the present leadership of the University had paid N203,206,812.62 to the coffers of Ekiti State Inland Revenue Service since its inception to date.
On the issue of “Portal Fraud” raised in the statement by ASUU, let it be said categorically that there is no attempt by the Governing Council or the Management to sweep it under the carpet as being insinuated.
“All that Management has been doing was to follow due process as required by the university regulations.
“Management has concluded arrangement to table the matter and reports of the investigations at the next meeting of Council that will come up soon.