Published on March 20, 2014
Lecturers protest tax policy, irregular payment of salaries “For instance, a senior lecturer in OOU pays more tax than a professor at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNNAB).” Lecturers at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, OOU, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, on Monday staged a peaceful protest alleging arbitrary tax policy and irregular payment of salaries since 2011. The lecturers were seen carrying placards with various inscriptions chanting solidarity songs. Addressing journalists after the demonstration, Deji Agboola, the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, OOU branch, decried what he described as haphazard payment of the salaries of his members in the past three years. He said that the irregular payment had made it difficult for the lecturers to plan and meet some financial obligations such as payment of rents and their children’s school fees. “The astronomic and arbitrary tax policy to which our members are subjected has further pauperised them. “For instance, a senior lecturer in OOU pays more tax than a professor at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNNAB). “The deductions have failed to take cognisance of the Consolidated Peculiar University Academic Allowance (CONPUA),’’ he said. Mr. Agboola alleged that the situation had persisted since 2011 in spite of several letters of appeal to State Internal Revenue Service and the, OOU management. The Chairman noted that such situation was capable of exposing his members to the temptation of unethical practises. He therefore appealed to Governor Ibikunle Amosun, to intervene in the matter urgently to save his members from their plight. Mr. Agboola, however, directed his members to boycott classes as from March 18 until their requests were addressed. The union also used the occasion to sensitise the students on their action and presented a letter of grievances to the Vice Chancellor, Saburi Adesanya, for onward transmission to the governor.