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RE: RUGIPO CRISIS: WORKERS RESISTING ANTI-CORRUPTION INNOVATIONS – AG. COUNCIL CHAIRMAN

Byadulawo

Dec 29, 2023

The attention of the Academic Staff Union of Nigeria Polytechnics (ASUP), Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo chapter, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP), Rufus Giwa polytechnic, Owo chapter, and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), Rufus Giwa polytechnic, Owo chapter has been drawn to the interview granted by Dr. (Mrs) Olubunmi Omoniyi, who parades herself the Acting Chairman Governing Council of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo inspite of the VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE passed on her by the workers of the Institution.

In the interview under reference where she featured on Sunday, 24th December, 2023 in Akure, Dr. (Mrs) Omoniyi before some journalists made some spurious, baseless and false statements to misinform and confuse the members of the Public on the happenings in Rufus Giwa Polytechnic,Owo which led to the protests embarked upon by the workers in the institution.

Ordinarily, we would have ignored the obvious misrepresentation of facts supplied by Dr. Omoniyi as contained in the interview but for accurate presentation of facts to the reading public, it has become imperative for us to debunk her misleading and falsehood stories for the records and for the sake of posterity.

It is necessary to state here for the awareness of the public that the workers of Rufus Giwa polytechnic, Owo are not against the Council as insinuated by Dr. Omoniyi and Mr. Olumuyiwa Asagunla. The entire workforce as a body is against the uncharitable attitudes of Dr. Omoniyi who had turned the Polytechnic into a business venture for herself within three (3) months of her headship of the Council. The underlisted will serve as an eye opener to the reading public on our agonies.

1. ISSUE OF THE UNPAID TEN( 10) MONTHS SALARY ARREARS.

At the twilight of the administration of the former Governor, Dr. Rahman Olusegun Mimiko, the subvention to the Institution was reduced by twenty million (#20,000,000) in 2015. This reduction became the genesis of the inability of Management to pay salary as and when due. As a matter of fact, this was not peculiar to the Polytechnic alone as all categories of workers in the state were owed seven (7) months unpaid Salaries by Dr. Mimiko .

When Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s administration came on board in February, 2017, the subvention to the Polytechnic was ridiculously slashed by 30%. This singular action compounded and crippled the financial capacity of the Polytechnic to the extent that the Institution had to combine subventions of two (2) months to pay a month salary of its staff.To worsen an already crippled situation, the Governing Council and Management went ahead to employ all manners of workers without recourse to budget and due process an action that led to an astronomical increase in the wage bill of the workers. Dr.Olubunmi Omoniyi was a member of the Council that erred in this direction and same Council kept on deceiving the Ondo State Government that new workers were not employed.

Dr.Omoniyi is inept as she does not know of the huge financial responsibility of the Polytechnic to her staff, retirees and the peculiarities in the system

Therefore, the claim of Dr. Omoniyi that it was the previous administration that owed workers of the Institution was nothing but an attempt to misinform the public and sold a dummy to the government.

2. THE EIGHT HUNDRED AND FIFTY MILLION NAIRA (#850,000,000) BORROWED FROM A COMMERICAL BANK BY MANAGEMENT.

We find it amusing that Mr. Olumuyiwa Asagunla in his vain attempt to support the uncharitable attitudes of Dr. Omoniyi could so openly lie to the public that it was the three (3) Unions on campus that pressurised Management to borrow #850,000,000 from commerical bank to pay staff salaries. This spurious assertion only demonstrates the worth of the calibres of people saddled with the onerous responsibility of an expected sound and visionary Council.

It is on record that Mr. Asagunla once collected a contract from the same Polytechnic under the administration of Late Dr. Olusegun Agagu for the construction of the Student Union building which was shabbily done. The building is now in a terrible shape due to the substandard job done by him.

How such character found himself as a member of the Institution’s Governing Council appears a mystery, a Council that supposes to contain people of proven integrity both in moral and character, baffles the Unions.

Asagunla and Dr (Mrs) Omoniyi goofed again by telling the public an unbelievable lie. The three (3) Unions on the campus did not at any time pressurise Management to obtain any loan. No tertiary Institution in Ondo state went to borrow from a commercial bank to pay her workers except Rufus Giwa polytechnic,Owo.
They have an ulterior motives for mooting the idea to borrow as the idea to borrow was conceived by the previous Management of the Institution ably supported by the Governing Council. It was later sold to Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu who graciously approved same.

For Mr Asagunla to have ignorantly misinformed the Public demonstrates his clandestine attempt to throw wool in the eyes of the Public. It is his nature to be economical with the truth because of pecuniary gains.

3. ISSUE OF THE PAYMENT OF THREE (3) MONTHS OUT OF THE THE THIRTEEN (13) MONTHS PURPORTEDLY LOBBIED BY DR. (MRS) OLUBUNMI OMONIYI.

Another gross misrepresentation of fact to the members of the Public was the claim by Dr. Omoniyi that in September, 2023, she used her goodwill in government to facilitate payment of three (3) months salary to staff of the Institution. This is nothing but a needless distraction from the main issue.

In September, 2023 before the commencement of the first semester examination for the 2022/2023 academic session, members of the Academic Staff Union of Nigeria Polytechnics (ASUP) Rufus Giwa polytechnic Owo chapter, held its congress where it was resolved that its members should withdraw their services not until Management paid outstanding salary arrears and Part-time claims.

Similarly, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo chapter held its congress and resolved to embark on industrial action before the commencement of the first semester examination if workers’ salaries were not paid.

As a result of the issuance of these notices, and upon the death of about five members of staff in same week, students of the Institution embarked on peaceful protest to draw the attention of the state Government to their plights and the unnecessary prolonged semester.

Therefore, a meeting was convened in Akure by the Head of service, Pastor Kayode Ogundele and other important government functionaries.It was at this meeting that on compassionate ground, the sum of #850,000,000 borrowed from the bank by Management in 2020 was paid back to the institution to offset some of the outstanding salary arrears.

It is embarrassing that Dr(Mrs) Omoniyi is ascribing a goodwill to herself. A virtue she lacks. Does a liar has any goodwill? It is good for us to know her as Dr in her arranged interview whereas in some of her vouchers and in the Polytechnic, she parades herself as a Professor. It was after the release of the above money, that Government in its wisdom said that the money was part of the subvention (for 2023) .

The question now is where is the place of her goodwill to facilitate three (3) months salary for us when she was not even a member of the Council when Management borrowed the money from commerical bank ?

4. THE STAND OF THE UNIONS ON THE APPOINTMENT OF SUBSTANTIVE PRINCIPAL OFFICERS FOR THE POLYTECHNIC

In October, 2023, the tenure of office for principal Officers of the Polytechnic expired. The Council made appointment into these offices in acting capacity. Barely, a week of the appointment, an advertisement for the positions of the Principal Officers was made by Dr. Omoniyi without recourse to the position of the owner of the institution on the upgrading of the Polytechnic to a university.

While on the issue, unions were invited to Akure in November by the implementation Committee of the upgrading of the Polytechnic to a University.
At the meeting, unions were reliably informed that the Polytechnic would transit to a University in 2024 and due to paucity of funds, the Unions opined that it is not advisable to have another substantive principal Officers bearing in mind that purchase of brand new Prado Jeep and other official vehicles for the new Principal Officers would further compound the financial constraints of the Institution, and particularly, where we still have backlog of unpaid Salaries.

To our dismay, instead for Dr. Omoniyi to accept the golden advice offered by the Unions, she was hell bent on the issue of appointing substantive Principal Officers for the Polytechnic. In fact, she had already secured unknown location to carry out this interview having forced Management to release money to her.

Even for such an interview, the extant regulations for such a sensitive appointment was thrown into the dustbin just with the same impunity with which they employed people.

The Polytechnic is not a banana Republic and worst still Dr .Omoniyi is an academic staff in Adekunle Ajasin university where she should have known that such interview required a cognate approach. For instance, the Board of Studies in RUGIPO must meet to elect a representative on such interview panel. More worrisome, neither the Ag.Rector nor the Ag.Registrar were privy to her interview plans. She thought she could have her ways and foist her cronies on the Polytechnic.

It took the grace and timely intervention of the then Ag. Governor and now Governor of Ondo State, His Excellency Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa before she agreed to suspend the contentious interview.

5.WHO IS OWING THE STAFF OF RUFUS GIWA POLYTECHNIC, OWO ?

It is interesting to note the confessional statement from Dr(Mrs) Omoniyi that the Ondo State Government is not owing workers salaries in RUGIPO.The question begging for an answer is who is now owing the workers of the Polytechnic 10 months arrears of salaries?

It is obvious that something is wrong somewhere.We, as unions are now demanding that the Council and Management should pay us our rightful wages and salaries.it is evident that there is mismanagement and therefore Government should come to our aid in RUGIPO by releasing the visitation panel’s report and let the public be aware of the destruction of this Institution by some people parading themselves as saints.

6.THE ISSUE OF INTERNALLY GENERATED REVENUE (IGR).

it is interesting to hear Mrs goodwill talking on genuine drives on IGR when the little IGR available in the institution is siphoned by her. Any meeting she attends, even, for one hour, her allowances compulsorily must be paid. She organises meetings at random to enable her milk the system. ln one of our meetings with her, the Unions presented a position paper on IGR, but to our dismay she said non of the unions was ready to tailor any idea on revenue generation. She is a bloody liar and to every woes facing the Institution, she always claim ignorant.

The Academic Staff Union of Nigeria Polytechnics (ASUP), Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo chapter, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP) Rufus Giwa polytechnic, Owo chapter and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) Rufus Giwa polytechnic Owo chapter need to bring it to the attention of the public the atrocities which Dr. Omoniyi has committed against the Polytechnic within the three (3) months of her leadership of the Institution’s Governing Council

1. ILLEGAL SALE OF HANDOUTS TO STUDENTS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE LABOURATORY TECHNOLOGY.

During the Rectorship of Professor Ajibefun, Management in conjunction with Council banned the sale of handouts to students by Lecturers as part of efforts to enhance reading culture and encouraged the use of library facilities by students of the Polytechnic. The ban still subsists not until the moment Dr. Omoniyi became the Ag. Council Chairman of the Institution.

It was a surprise to the Unions when Dr. Omoniyi started selling handouts to students in the Department of Science Labouratory Technology with reckless impunity. She, as the Council Chairman, employed the instrument of her position to subtly compel the Head of Department of Science Labouratory Technology to sell organic Chemistry material to Students .

It was one of the most reckless display of power by Dr. Omoniyi to have forced Students to buy her books in defiance of the Institution’s existing ban on the sale of handouts in the Polytechnic.

The question the Unions will like to ask is why Dr. Tunji Abayomi, a legal luminary who has authored many books on legal jurisprudence in Nigeria has not forced same on the Law Students of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko as the Council Chairman of the University ?

Dr. Omoniyi saw Rufus Giwa polytechnic, Owo as a business venture where she could make quick money at the detriment of the policy of the Institution.

2. FORCING MANAGEMENT TO AWARD A CONTRACT TO SUPPLY EXAMINATION ANSWER SCRIPTS FOR 2022/2023 ACADEMIC SESSION TO HERSELF.

In her efforts to corner the meagre resources of the Institution, Dr. Omoniyi forced Management to award to herself, in her official position as Ag. Council Chairman, a contract to supply examination scripts used for the first semester examination for the 2022/2023.

It has never been so worse in the Polytechnic like this for a council Chairman to be awarded a contract to supply an examination answer scripts at a bogus price. This was what Dr. Omoniyi did. She practically arm twisted Management to award the contact to her for a bogus amount what the Institution’s RUGIPO Ventures could do for a lesser amount.

The intention of Dr. Omoniyi for the Polytechnic was to take all at ALL costs without contributing any. The same person shouting that the Polytechnic is not generating IGR is the same person collecting contract at bogus prices What an irony!

3. THE ILLEGAL HIJACKING OF THE TETFUND HILUX VAN

As stated in our Open letter to Management of the Institution, the Hilux Van provided by TETfund for student’s field work was hijacked by Dr. Omoniyi for her official use without recourse to how Students of the Polytechnic will be mobilised for their field works.

Several attempts had been made to her to return the van all to no avail. It was funny that the same person had forced Management to include the purchase of a brand new official car for her in the 2024 budget of the Institution. The Unions stand by our assertion that Dr. Omoniyi only came to the Polytechnic to take and not to contribute.

4. GROSS FINANCIAL IRREGULARITIES

Dr. Omoniyi has continued to milk the Polytechnic dry despite the terrible financial situation of the Polytechnic. The Unions have it on record that all manners of allowances were being collected by Dr. Omoniyi.This, if not put to an end forthwith, will eventually escalate the financial predicament of the Institution.

They extant regulations of the Institution stipulates the numbers of the times the Governing Council should meet in a year. However, the Omoniyi led Council has continued to flout this with reckless impunity.

The last time the council met, all manners of allowances ranging from sitting allowances, quarterly allowances, Christmas bonus etc were collected.

It will interest the public that while the Council was being paid these allowances, the staff of the Institution are wallowing in abject poverty as we have only received part payment for March, 2023 salary and without having anything to take home during this Yuletide.

Dr. Omoniyi care less about the welfare of the staff of the Institution. In fact, she collected traveling allowances for attending the burial ceremony of the late mother of the Ag. Rector where she did not spent 10 minutes, and virtually on every trip be it official or not.This is the height of her greediness.

5. MISMANAGEMENT OF THE FUND RELEASED BY GOVERNMENT FOR THE HOSTING OF THE NIGERIA POLYTECHNIC GAMES (NIPOGA)

In January, 2023, the Polytechnic hosted the 21st edition of the Nigeria Polytechnic Games (NIPOGA). Due to paucity of fund, the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the games tagged ” OWO 2022″ was forced to borrow from different sources and vendors to ensure the success of the games while awaiting the support of the Ondo State Government.

After the end of the two (2) weeks sports events, Arakunrin Oluwaromiti Odunayo Akeredolu, the Executive Governor of Ondo state, released millions of naira to the Polytechnic. However, the fund was diverted by the immediate past Management on the directives of the Governing Council which Dr. Omoniyi was then a member.

Till date, some of our members who served in different Committees and who had borrowed on behalf of the Institution were facing serious embarrassement from vendors. One of such cases has led to litigation while it was the immediate Management and the current council that mismanaged the fund. it is incumbent on the State Government to look into the utilisation of the fund.

DEMANDS OF THE ACADEMIC STAFF UNION OF NIGERIA POLYTECHNICS (ASUP), THE SENIOR STAFF ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA POLYTECHNICS (SSANIP) AND THE NON- ACADEMIC STAFF UNION OF EDUCATIONAL AND ASSOCIATED INSTITUTIONS (NASU).

We want to reiterate our earlier positions contained in the open letter to Management of the Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo which was copied to Ondo State Government;

1. That payment of the ten (10) months salary arrears be paid in full to all members of staff in the Institution with immediate effect.

2. That failure to pay all backlog of Salary arrears will lead to resumption of our earlier suspended strike action by 1st of January, 2024.

3. That the six (6) months deductions of Cooperative Societies put at over seven hundred million naira be released to the Societies by Management without further delay.Anything to the contrary will lead to EFCC and ICPC for intervention.

4. That NO to any appointment of new Principal Officers for the Polytechnic.

5. As Unions in Rufus Giwa polytechnic, Owo, we want to appeal to the Government of Ondo state to release the white paper on the report of the last visitation panel.

6. That the VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE passed on the Ag. Council Chairman still subsists.

E- signed:
Comrade Arikawe S. A
Chairman, ASUP

Comrade Okoro N.F.
Ag. Chairman, SSANIP

Comrade Aro J.O.
Chairman, NASU

Comrade Fapetu Damilola Victor

Secretary, ASUP

Comrade Saka-Olokungboye Nurudeen
Ag. Secretary, SSANIP

Comrade Omole Joshua Kehinde
Secretary, NASU

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