‘LASU receives N450m subvention monthly’ — Sanwo-Olu reacts to unions’ protest

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Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, says his administration pays N450 million monthly subvention to the Lagos State University (LASU).

The governor disclosed this in a statement issued by Tokunbo Wahab, his special adviser on education, on Monday.

He said this in reaction to the protest by members of the LASU chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), and the National Association of Academic Technologists.

Protesting staff in the university had prevented Olanrewaju Fagboun, the institution’s vice-chancellor, and students from entering the school premises.

The unions were protesting non-payment of salary increment, which according to them, was promised by the state government over a year ago.

But in the statement, Wahab described the protest as a blackmail, saying the state government did not promise to increase staff salaries.

He said the school receives N450 million subvention which is expected to be used in meeting staff demands, among other needs.

“LASU, like other subvented Ministries, Departments, Agencies, MDAs, collects the sum of N450,000,000.00 (Four Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) monthly from the Lagos State Government as Subvention,” the statement read.

“The Government expects the institutions to also be responsible in the application of the funds and the staffing of the institutions.

“We must also remember that they have Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, which they generate and not accountable to anyone on how same is expended.

“Aside the subvention, the government is also responsible for the infrastructural developments of the institutions and other ancillary things including payment for accreditation exercise for which the last one cost the government N450 million.”

The governor’s aide called on the protesting unions to reconsider their actions and adopt other measures of meeting their demands.

He said Sanwo-Olu’s administration has been benevolent to the institution, adding that the governor should be commended rather than condemned.

“The government has never promised the union salary increment at any time. This, purely, is blackmail,” he said.

“My appeal to the protesters is to have a rethink. Protest is not the right approach to solving these problems. The union should look inward by asking the management questions on finding and not heap the blame on the state government.

“The present administration led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been so benevolent to LASU enough since assumption of office and should be commended rather than being condemned.”

Tertiary institutions were shut indefinitely in March to check the spread of COVID-19.

The Lagos state government had, however, directed that academic activities for final year students resume on Monday.

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