A youth group under the umbrella of ‘Owo Integrity Forum’, has appealed to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo state to intervene in the accumulated arrears of salaries owing workers of Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, RUGIPO, Owo, , by approving special bailout for the institution’s authorities to defray the 10 months salaries arrears.
The group made the appeal in a press statement made available to newsmen on Friday in Akure, in a reaction to an indefinite strike embarked upon by non-academic staff at the polytechnic.
Recall that workers of the state-owned polytechnic on Thursday commenced an indefinite strike action over alleged unpaid salary arrears running to 11 months, by the authorities of the institution.
But, the National Coordinator of the group, Mr Emmanuel Ayodele, who signed the statement, explained that such salary bailout would ensure stability at the institution and give students and workers conducive environment to teaching and learning.
The statement reads that “We therefore appeal to our amiable Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to urgently wade into the strike issue over unpaid salaries for 10months at the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo.
“It is our belief that the Governor should without further delay approve special fund like salary bailout for the institution. We know the situation is not peculiar to RUGIPO alone. We know the Ondo state government, the Governing Council and the management of the school are trying their best to meet workers’ demands, but it is only necessary at this time for the state government to grant bailout for salary payment.
“The workers can not be going to work on daily basis in empty stomach and they also need to feed their families, but we want to appeal to them to give the State Government time to address the salary arrears that is pre-dated the present administration,” the group said.
“We want to commend the courage of the workers in showing understanding for the period of time but we wish to urge them to further exercise patience to enable the state Governor and the management to come up with strategies of defraying the salary arrears.
“We are all aware of the giant strides in putting in place modern infrastructure on the RUGIPO campus in recent years to change the narrative of shortage facilities. We therefore commend the Governing Council under Barr Banji Alabi and the management under Rector, Gani Ogundahunsi.
The group also called on SSANIP and NASU not to allow some distractors to use them to destabilize existing stable academic calendar being enjoyed at the polytechnic in recent time.
According to the group,
“we are aware the institution’s management took some drastic economic steps to turn around some moribund facilities owned by the institution.”
It explained that “the adoption of public private partnership by the management and supervised by Internal Generated Revenue(IGR) Committee has saved a number of dilapidated facilities on the campus”.
Also reacting in an interview, the school’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Samuel Ojo, said “the Governing Council and Management of Rugipo has done so much to bring the institution to a limelight with lots of infrastructural and human capital development
“The only pain is on the salary arrears which the authority of the institution is addressing with all sincere efforts.
It needs be mentioned that of recent a bank loan was obtained to pay 3 months salary to all category of workers within a week and the unpaid salary areas as left overs from the erstwhile government before Arakunrin Akeredolu has been addressed by this government and Management.
“I think in my own view, a patience is required to enable the sincere efforts of management to mature as a succour,” the PRO said.
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