The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed on Monday directed that the the ban on union activities at the College of Education, Oro imposed last December, be lifted.
Governor Ahmed announced lifting of the ban at a meeting with leadership of the institution’s staff unions including College of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) and Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education in Nigeria (SSUCOEN), led by the state Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) Comrade Yekeen Agunbiade.
The meeting was also attended by Chief of Staff, Government House, Alhaji Yusuf Baba Wahab and Special Adviser to the Governor on Labour, Comrade Bisi Fakayode.
Alhaji Ahmed noted that he was surprised the unions staged a protest on the same day he had approved the release of funds for the payment of outstanding salaries of tertiary institution workers.
He urge members of the unions to always employ dialogue and not resort to strike, protest or vandalizing of property to register their grievances, saying that such acts will not solve challenges facing the College.
Governor Ahmed restated that the State government is determined not to retrench any worker despite the harsh economic situation but will instead, continue to look for ways to solve the problems affecting tertiary institutions in the state. According to him, the government subvents institutions to support their operations and should not be held responsible to salary delays when the management fails to fulfill its part.
While restating the government’s commitment to reform the state-owned tertiary institutions including the College of Education, Oro, Alhaji Ahmed stated that as the financial situation of the State improves, the government will gradually remedy the problems facing the College including infrastructural deficit and subventions arrears, if any.
Speaking on behalf of the unions, the State NLC Chairman, Yekeen Agunbiade thanked the governor for ensuring that salaries of state government workers are paid promptly despite the tight financial situation and solicited assistance towards clearing LG workers’ arrears. Agunbiade thank ed Governor Ahmed for lifting the ban on Unionism at COED, Oro and pledged that the unions will always adopt dialogue in resolving issues rather than resorting to disrupting academic activities.
The State Government suspended activities of the unions last December, following protests by their members, which led to the destruction property on the school campus and disruption of academic activities.