The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP (LASPOTECH Chapter) wishes to debunk the misleading press release that was syndicated in the media by the Special Adviser on Education to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, claiming to have been granted an ex-parte order to force the suspension of the ongoing strike by LASPOTECH staff unions. This information was not only false, but also a deliberate attempt by the SAE/ LASPOTECH management to create confusion and cover up his inadequacies in advising His Excellency on Education matters as related to the Polytechnic of Excellence.
It is true that the Special Adviser on behalf of Lagos State Government filed a written motion ex-parte order in the National Industrial Court, Lagos Division ( suit No. NICN/LA/368/2015) twice (on 1st and 3rd August) respectively, and the court struck out the motion on the two occasions.
The court ruling states inter alia without any form of ambiguity, “In the circumstance, I find and hold that the claimants have failed to satisfy the court on the urgency of this application. I therefore decline to grant this motion ex-parte and dismiss same”.
For the records, we also want the public to know that Mr Obafela Bank-Olemoh has been peddling falsehood about the CONTISS 15 arrears that the Unions are clamouring for. With all sense of patriotism, we wish to state categorically, that the Unions are pursuing legitimate issues supported by documents.
Worthy of note is the document titled “resolutions reached by the state government with the three unions at the Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu”, dated Friday, 31st December, 2010 and signed by Adesegun Ogunlewe – Head of Service (Representing LASG), O.T. Arowolo- ASUP, LASPOTECH Chairman, A.J. Ogungbayibi- NASU, LASPOTECH Chairman and H.B. Tairu- SSANIP, LASPOTECH Chairman. According to the document, “(i) that Lagos State Government has agreed to implement the ASUP/Federal Government Agreement of 2009; (ii) that the financial aspect of the agreement shall commence in January, 2011; (iii) that the Lagos State Government would increase the polytechnic’s subvention by 25% while the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the Polytechnic would complement the balance; (iv) that the Lagos State Government has agreed that the accrued arrears from 1st July,2009 to 31st December, 2010 shall be paid through the Polytechnic IGR; Etc”. With this, the noise that the CONTISS 15 is yet to be domesticated is put to rest.
It will also interest the general public to know that, the immediate past Rector of the Polytechnic constituted a committee on the “migration to CONTISS 15 and revised NBTE Scheme of service in the Polytechnic” headed by the then Deputy Rector (Admin.), now the current Rector- Oluyinka Samuel Sogunro. The committee via a report dated 6th June, 2014, referenced CIC 16 signed by Sogunro and other six members submitted, “…for the sake of sustainable peace to ensure (sic) a conducive atmosphere for teaching and community service, the committee recommended the option of salary point to salary point of Nineteen Million, Seven Hundred and Eighteen Thousand, Five Hundred and Fifty Nine Naira (N19,718, 559,00) over and above the present wage bill of the Polytechnic for implementation in the Polytechnic.”
Subsequent upon Sogunro led committee’s report to the Management of Lagos State Polytechnic, the then Rector, Dr. Abdulazeez A. Lawal through a letter dated 11th September, 2014, referenced REC/MEPB/027C/IX/016 to the Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget with specific prayers amongst which was, “…(b) seeking approval for the adoption and implementation of the NBTE Migration to CONTISS 15 Circular and new Scheme of Service with a monthly financial implication of Two Hundred and Thirty-Six Million, Six Hundred and Twenty-Two Thousand, Seven Hundred and Eight Naira (N236,622,708,00).”
In May 2016, the Polytechnic received a letter referenced SAE/HED/S.7/Vol.T/53 and dully signed by the current Special Adviser on Education- Obafela Bank-Olemoh with the tittle, “payment of newly approved monthly subvention”. The letter partly reads thus, “In part fulfilment of the pledge of the Governor, His Excellency, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode to reposition all the State-Owned Tertiary Institutions, he approved the upward review in the Institutions’ monthly subventions as a measure to improve their fiscal profile. To this end, His Excellency has graciously signed-off the payment of N210,000,000,00 (Two Hundred and Ten Million Naira) only monthly, as the new subvention rate of your Institution with effect from June, 2016.”
It continues. “For proper financial moderation based on our discussion on debt profile reduction. N30m (Thirty Million Naira), representing not less than 50% (fifty percent) of your Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) should be dedicated to settling monthly the debt profile of N2,778, 549,846,21 (Two Billion, Seven Hundred and Seventy – Eight Million, Five Hundred and Forty- Nine Thousand, Eight Hundred and Forty- Six Naira Twenty-One Kobo) only….General bail-out is not envisaged for now until appreciable level of monthly debt reduction is attained.”
Kindly note, LASPOTECH subvention was raised from N153, 731,200 (One Hundred and Fifty Three Million, Seven Hundred and Thirty One Thousand, Two Hundred Naira) to N210 , 000,000,00 (Two Hundred and Ten Million Naira),(N55 million- Fifty Five Million Naira difference), with the caveat that backlog of outstanding debts must be settled. You will also recall that, Sogunro led committee claimed that the difference of Nineteen Million, Seven Hundred and Eighteen Thousand, Five Hundred and Fifty Nine Naira (N19,718, 559,00) monthly would be required to migrate the staff.
Ironically, on 19th September, 2016 through a letter referenced REC/SAE/025/IX/133, while the staff were yet to enjoy the implementation of the CONTISS 15 migration despite the increase in subvention since June 2016 , Sogunro led administration was already requesting for additional funds. “…it may interest you to know that our monthly salaries, wages and pensions amount to N229,401,307.00 which is higher than the new monthly subvention of N210,000,000. To make up for this shortfall , the sum of N19,401, 301 is required monthly as augmentation,…it is our prayer that the directive of setting 50% of our IGR for debt settlement be waived at least for now….”
We want to state unequivocally that:
- We don’t have any issues with the Lagos State Government or the person of the amiable Governor- Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on the CONTISS 15 arrears
- We are fighting for a legitimate reason as enshrined in the National Board For Technical Education, NBTE letter referenced C/TEB.608/VOL.1/287.
- Lagos State Government has made provision for the arrears vide SAE/HED/S.7/Vol.T/53, therefore Lagos State Government is not owing LASPOTECH Staff
- There is availability of ‘spendable’ funds to the tune of N249,000,000 (two hundred and forty nine million naira) accrued from the Polytechnic IGR and excess monthly subventions from LASG to offset part of the arrears. This information is contained in the report of the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Education’s fact finding committee that was signed by the LASPOTECH Management and Representatives of the Unions on 27th July, 2017.
- The Unions never for once requested for 87 Months arrears at a go, it was just the SAE/rector’s unpopular propaganda. The Unions only requested for 12 Months, while the remaining should be prorated for years in line with the NBTE’s caveat
- Obafela Bank-Olemoh in connivance with the rector is misinforming His Excellency- Mr Akinwunmi Ambode for his personal gain
- It is also on tape that Obafela Bank-Olemoh incited the students against staff and categorically stated that his children are not in LASPOTECH, so the students can afford to stay at home as much as the strike continues
- The rector fix deposited N1.788B as at February 2017 without approval, including pensioner’s 15 months allowances, Federal Government Scholarship funds, etc, while five of the pensioners are dead owing to paucity of funds to attract quality medical attention
- We are worried about the lack of teaching facilities, consumables, laboratory equipment/apparatus, wastages on e-solutions, etc
- We tried all means to see the Governor so that he can hear the true position of things in the polytechnic, but the Special Adviser blocked all our efforts
As the case stands today, we are very delighted that the case is in the Industrial court. On our part, we are submitting ourselves to the rule of law and subsequent adjudication. We therefore appeal to Obafela Bank-Olemoh and Oluyinka Samuel Sogunro not to attempt giving an order they could not get through court. What they failed to achieve through the court can’t be achieved through propaganda and autocracy. Any attempt to stand on the way of justice shall be met with resistance. Please, note that the strike remains TOTAL & INDEFINITE.
Kindly find attached the copy of court ruling.
General Secretary, ASUP LASPOTECH Chapter. 0802 381 8555