Indefinite Strike Grounds Activities In Oyo Colleges Of Education

Academic activities in all the six state-owned colleges of education in Oyo State have been grounded after workers in the institutions embarked on an indefinite strike.

Members of the academic and non-academic staff unions of the colleges had taken to the streets in their various communities on Friday, demanding that the government pay all outstanding arrears of salary owed them.

The unions are demanding the payment of eight to 15 months’ salary arrears and return of full subvention to the schools as none could stand on its own.

The chairman of the joint action committee for colleges of education in Oyo State, Afeez Adeniyi told journalists that the unions had started an indefinite strike, effective immediately Friday, November 3, and will not resume until their demands are met.

While the protests were ongoing, the Oyo State Government invited the heads of management of the six institutions and held a meeting with them behind closed doors. The meeting lasted till late last night.

After the meeting, the Commissioner For Education, Professor Adeniyi Olowofela, said the reduction in subvention for the institutions is an indication of current economic realities and was reduced after due consultation with management of the schools.

Prof. Olowofela added that governing boards would be set up for all the colleges of education with immediate effect in the bid to find a lasting solution to the issues at stake.

He added that the forensic audit of the colleges revealed that some of them can stand on their own with proper management while some may not.

FG Weeds Out Over 15,000 Ghost Pensioners

FG Weeds Out Over 15,000 Ghost PensionersThe Federal Government has uncovered over 15,000 ghost pensioners from its payroll, hence saving over 300 million Naira on a monthly basis.

The Executive Secretary of the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, disclosed this on Tuesday while addressing reporters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mrs Ikeazor noted that the directorate is conducting a verification exercise for pensioners across the country.

She expressed optimism that more will be weeded out when the exercise is concluded in the South-west region in July 2017.

The Executive Secretary further revealed that the agency is working with the Ministry of Finance to recover over 19 billion Naira legacy funds in the custody of insurance companies from Ministries, Department and Agencies, as well as universities and colleges of education.

Kwara Tertiary Institutions Give Ultimatum Over Unpaid Salaries

kwaraStaff of Tertiary Institutions in Kwara State have given an ultimatum to the state government to embark on an industrial strike by the 20th of this month if their five months salary arrears are not paid.

The leadership, Union of Tertiary Institutions after a deadlocked meeting with the State Head of Service said two of their members lost their children due to inability to pay hospital bills and the government promised to settle the arrears soon.

The institutions are State Polytechnic, three Colleges of Education and College of Arabic and Islamic studies.

At an emergency meeting held with the State Head of Service behind closed door, the leadership of the union described the meeting as deadlocked as the government official only asked them to be patient, a situation which they claimed did not go down well with them having written several letters to different organisations on their plight before now, without success.

The vice chairman of the union lamented that two members of the union lost their children due to inability to pay the hospital bills adding that the members will embark on total strike at the end of the 21 day notice which will expire by the 20th of this month.

Responding to the ultimatum, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Dr. Muideen Akorede explained that although the government is owing but noted that it is not uniform as some have cleared and are not owing up to that.

He pleaded with them to see reasons with the government as the current economic situation in the country is responsible but urged them to augment whatever the government is giving them with internal generated revenue of their various institutions.

As the deadline given by the Staff of Tertiary Institutions draw nearer, it is believed that both parties will come to an amicable solution in order not to plunge the education system into crisis.

Jonathan assents to bill on retirement age in varsities, polys, COEs

President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday assented to a bill on the retirement age for staff of universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.

This was contained in a press statement signed by the Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati.

“This law harmonises the compulsory retirement age of staff of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education to be 65 years and exempts them from the Public Service Rule which requires a person to retire from the Public Service after serving for 35 years,” the statement reads.

Mr Abati said that the president also assented to the Bill for an Act to further amend the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act No. 11, 1993.

“The new Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act, 2012, limits the tenure of principal officers of universities to a single term of five years, while increasing the compulsory retirement age of staff in the professorial cadre and non-academic staff in Nigerian universities to 70 and 65 years respectively.”