Former Wesley varsity wokers demand payment of outstanding salaries, entitlements

Dean, College of Social and Management Science, Prof. Adebowale Biodun Areo (left); Prof. Abiodun Fayose; Femi Aborisade; and former Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof William Olu-Aderounmu 

Eighty-nine former staff members of Wesley University, Ondo, including a former acting vice chancellor, Prof. William Olu-Aderounmu and 83-year-old professor, Prof. Emmanuel Fayose, have demanded the payment of their outstanding salaries and entitlements owed between 2014 and 2019, saying failure to do so would compel them to result to legal action. 

The aggrieved workers, comprising academic, administrative and professional members of staff, at a press conference held in Ibadan accused the university of hiding under the guise of the COVID-19 pandemic to deprive them of their entitlements since 2014.

Speaking through their lawyer, Mr Femi Aborisade, the affected workers said they were forced to bring the matter “before the court of the public” because the university had repeatedly failed to pay them.
Several calls made to the Registrar of the university, Mrs Chioma Obasi, were not picked, while Mr. Mcneize Faseun who is the institution’s spokesperson declined comment on the development when The Guardian called. He simply said, “I don’t have any reaction to it. Thank you.”

Aborisade said, “Wesley University, Ondo employed the aggrieved workers individually at various times and they worked conscientiously with utmost performance throughout the period of their employment, unfortunately, the university has refused to pay their entitlements, which it had been owing before disengaging the workers, contrary to their contracts of employment and in spite of the intervention of several bodies, particularly the National Universities Commission  (NUC).

“In its letter to the vice chancellor dated July 19, 2018, the NUC had threatened to constitute a visitation panel to determine the viability of the university on the ground of lingering issue of non-payment of salaries.

“Our clients find it highly surprising, utterly disappointing and severely embarrassing that the institution has failed to live by biblical injunctions.

“Besides, the school has not remitted the pension deducted from their salaries, including the employer’s statutory contributions to their individual pension fund administrators. 

On his part, Prof. Olu-Aderounmu said, “There is no university in the country today that is owing as much. We hope that the university is not thinking that by the time those being owed drop dead one after the other, there would be no one to agitate again. There was a time the school took a loan of N500m. One would think that it would have set aside, at least N200m to offset the outstanding salary arrears. When your workers are frustrated, it would rob on the students.

Prof. Adebowale Abiodun, who put the total amount owed the workers at N151, 271, 925.31, said they staff were being paid once in a quarter and represented about three quarter of former members of staff being owed.

Abiodun said the workers are being owed between five and 29 months.

Eighty-three year old Prof Fayose said he resigned after settling the case of a young lecturer who was about to commit suicide when the university where he was pursuing his Ph.D programme refused to allow him graduate following his failure to settle outstanding fees and levies.

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