Contrary to insinuations by the leadership of the Joint Action Committee comprising the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), the Management of Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti has no intention to cover up any form of fraud in the institution and does not have any sacred cow. Rather, the University Management under the leadership of Professor Edward Olanipekun has zero tolerance to any act of fraud/graft/infraction.
The leadership of JAC III, in a recent Press conference had alleged that the university Management was silent about the fraud in the university ICT “apparently due to their vested interests in the matter”. For the sake of clarity, the university Management does not have any vested interests on the alleged portal fraud. As a matter of fact, the university Management, on the directive of the Governing Council had since referred the matter to the appropriate government agency for necessary action and JAC III was duly informed by the University Management about this development. Hence, it is worrisome and unfortunate if JAC III decided to feign ignorance of this, thus resorting to maliciously feeding the public with falsehood and unsubstantiated allegations. Neither the Chairman of Council nor the Vice Chancellor has ever attempted to and will never cover up any fraud in the university. Consequently, all staff who were alleged to have committed administrative infractions in the portal fraud shall soon be made to face appropriate disciplinary committees.
The Management is not unaware of the arrears of 3 months unpaid salaries in the year 2018, unremitted cooperative deductions and Contributory Pension Scheme which predates the current administration. It is an unassailable fact that the current University Administration with the active support of the Governing Council and the Visitor to the University is not resting on its oars to address the welfare and other legitimate issues raised by JAC III and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Apart from defraying substantially the huge debts it met on ground, this current administration under the leadership of Professor Edward Olanipekun, has ensured payment of gross salaries and other emoluments consistently, despite the paucity of funds.
Sadly, the recent inability of the University to meet wholly its financial obligations is not unconnected with the lockdown coupled with the elongation of the 2019/2020 academic session which 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 important to also emphasize that the University Management has not been lackadaisical to issues affecting the welfare of staff. This is evident in the promotion of deserving staff as and when due, not minding the limited resources presently at the disposal of the university.
It is the expectation of management that JAC III, as partners in progress should join hands with the current leadership of the university in its drive to find lasting solutions to the financial crisis confronting it, rather than aggravating it through unnecessary protest and press conference. It is pertinent to emphasize that payment of the outstanding debts is contingent on having a stable academic calendar.
The doors of the Vice Chancellor are always open to dialogue with a view to providing the necessary and required leadership in the university.
Head, Directorate of Information & Corporate Affairs.