The attention of the authorities of Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti has been drawn to an unprovoked media attacks on the Pro-Chancellor & Chairman of Council, Professor Bamitale Omole, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Edward Olanipekun as well as the Visitor to the University and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi.

The media attack titled: “STOP THE PRETENCE AND DEAL WITH EKITI STATE UNIVERSITY’S FINANCIAL PROBLEMS” was a reaction to the Press interview granted by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Professor Bamitale Omole on various national and state issues, relating to  funding of tertiary education by the federal government, the IPPIS, COVID-19 and sundry issues.  No where in the interview did the Chairman of Council mentioned ASUU-EKSU or made any unsavory remarks about the University. Thus, the virulent reaction of ASUU-EKSU is surprising to say the least.

The reaction of ASUU-EKSU, probably is a reflection of the Union’s  misgivings on the financial crisis being experienced in the University.

In the first place, the Pro- Chancellor & Chairman of Council, Prof. Bamitale Omole, ought to be commended for the interview he granted rather than being unjustifiably criticized. For any discerning mind, Professor Omole had, through the interview demonstrated his selflessness, deep understanding of the education sector and commitment to the development of EKSU as an institution and Ekiti in general.  As the Pro – Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Prof. Bamitale Omole has demonstrated since his appointment about two years ago, that he is a leader who is not driven or known to be interested in pecuniary interests unlike some of his predecessors in office who would be mounting pressure on the University Management for perquisites of office not quite two (2) months of assumption of office. Since his assumption of office about two (2) years ago, Prof. Omole has not mounted any pressure on the University Management for his rightful and official entitlements.

In the interview, he x-rayed issues concerning university education holistically where he spoke frankly unlike many typical government appointees and as someone who is well versed on the challenges confronting university education having been in the system consistently for about four (4) decades. For example, he alluded to the fact that the intervention of the Federal Government through TETFUND was a fall out of the various agitations of ASUU. He even went further to say that IPPIS does not capture the peculiar needs of our universities. This  is an unassailable fact.

It is interesting to note that the Press Statement issued by ASUU-EKSU admitted that the current authorities of the University inherited the present financial problems from the administration of the immediate past Vice Chancellor, Professor Samuel Oye Bandele, including non-release of six (6) months subvention by the immediate past administration of Mr. Ayodele Fayose. Therefore, indicting the Professor Bamitale Omole-led Governing Council amounts to unfairness, duplicity and double speak  which is regrettable.

To claim that the present Council  Chairman “has done more harm than good by defending the non challant attitudes of Federal and State Governments” or that he “made beautiful but empty submissions about the underfunding problems being experienced by universities in Nigeria” is nothing, but a cheap blackmail and an abysmal lack of understanding of the interview under reference.

To worsen the situation, the Pro-Chancellor was referred to as a liar by claiming that “the major undoing of his yarns” in the press release was when he said that: “the Vice Chancellor, in collaboration with faculties, is introducing courses in Artificial intelligence and Robotics, Big Data Analytics, Bioinformatics, Cyber Security, Nanotechnology, Cloud computing Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and Mechatronics”.  This kind of personal abuse instead of addressing issues does not represent the best tradition of academia or ASUU in particular. Agreed that the programmes have not commenced, it is however, pertinent to note that the initiative to introduce these courses and others, which  is in tandem with the vision of the Vice Chancellor (as contained in the Vice Chancellor’s vision and mission statement) is commendable. The delay in the commencement of the proposed programmes is obvious, which is not unconnected with the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not so long, the programmes would commence. Besides, the Pro-Chancellor stated in the interview what EKSU plans to do post-COVID-19.  Hence, calling the caliber of Prof. Bamitale Omole, the Pro – Chancellor and Chairman of Council, a liar is unacceptable and  inappropriate. What is required at the moment, is that the entire University community should join hands with the University Authorities to ensure that these programmes commence as soon as practicable.

It is on record that the present Governing Council and by extension, the administration of Dr Kayode Fayemi have been clearing the mess inherited in the education sector and also desirous of making Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti a world class university that would be able to compete favourably among the comity of universities in Nigeria.

For the records, it should be noted that the current Govering Council which was inaugurated on January 28, 2019 met the sum of N1, 914,867,338.00 as accumulated unpaid Cooperative money owed members of staff by the previous administration. Within a year, a sum of  N1,368,008,446.74 was paid to offset part of the accumulated debts arising from the unpaid cooperative deductions.

Again, unlike what it met on ground prior to its inauguration, this current Council  has ensured that staff gross salaries were paid as and when due until the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic which has negatively affected the finances of the university.

For the sake of posterity, it should also be noted that the University has enjoyed a lot of support and financial interventions from  Ekiti State government, under Dr. Kayode Fayemi. These include but not limited to:

*release of a sum of over 32 million Naira to facilitate the accreditation of the MBBS programme which had been neglected for many years by previous administrations. It was this government’s intervention that eventually led to the MBBS programme being granted full accreditation thus, resulting in the graduation of the first set of Medical Doctors who had stagnated for almost ten (10) years.

*donation of a 32-Seater Bus to the College of Medicine to meet part of the requirements for the accreditation of the Medical programme.

*release of a sum of 50 million Naira to facilitate and purchase of necessary equipment for the accreditation of eighteen (18) undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of the University that were presented to the National Universities Commission in November/December, 2019. All the programmes had full accreditation.

*facilitation of the signing of memoranda of understanding with two reputable estate developers and investors for the construction and provision of accommodation for principal officers, staff and students of the university. These developers/investors will be moving to site any moment from now.

In addition, it should be noted that despite the current precarious global economy, Ekiti State government  has not reduced the monthly subvention given to the University unlike what is currently being experienced in some state universities in Nigeria.  Sadly, the recent inability of the University to meet part of its financial obligations, especially the non remittance of some salary related deductions, is not unconnected with the lockdown which has seriously affected the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the University. More importantly, the failure of the past administration in the State to release six (6) months subvention to the University contributed in no small measure to the precarious financial situation of the university. Nonetheless, it is on record that our University paid the July salaries and pensions on August 4, 2020 unlike what obtains in many state and private universities which have found it increasingly difficult to pay salaries to their staff and indeed sacked some workers as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

It is also important to clear the air on the allegation of unremitted PAYE (Pay As You Earn) deductions to the State Inland Revenue Service. It is a well known fact that Professor Samuel Oye Bandele as Vice Chancellor did not remit these deductions to the Internal Revenue Service during his tenure. However, the present leadership of the University had paid N203,206,812.62 to the coffers of Ekiti State Inland Revenue Service since its inception to date.

On the issue of “Portal Fraud” raised in the statement by ASUU, let it be said categorically that there is no attempt by the Governing Council or the Management to sweep it under the carpet as being insinuated. All that Management has been doing was to follow due process as required by the university regulations. Management has concluded arrangement to table the matter and reports of the investigations at the next  meeting of Council that will come up soon.

It is important to also emphasize that neither the Visitor, nor the Governing Council and the University Management has been lackadaisical to issues affecting the welfare of staff generally. To demonstrate this, the Visitor, with the Vice Chancellor in attendance, had met with the leadership of ASUU at both zonal and local levels twice within the past few months to discuss various issues raised by ASUU. The Governor and Visitor at those meetings gave assurances unequivocally, that the State government would address the issues raised by the union as soon as the finances of the state government improved.

ASUU, as partners in progress should join hands with the current leadership of the university in its drive to find lasting solutions to the financial crisis confronting the university,  rather than aggravating it through unnecessary and unprovoked media attacks.

The doors of the Chairman of Council and  the current Vice Chancellor are always open to dialogue with a view to providing the necessary and required leadership, contrary to ASUU-EKSU’s position.

 

The attention of the authorities of Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti has been drawn to an unprovoked media attacks on the Pro-Chancellor & Chairman of Council, Professor Bamitale Omole, the Vice Chancellor, Prof Edward Olanipekun as well as the Visitor to the University and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi.
The media attack titled: “STOP THE PRETENCE AND DEAL WITH EKITI STATE UNIVERSITY’S FINANCIAL PROBLEMS” was a reaction to the Press interview granted by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Professor Bamitale Omole on various national and state issues, relating to funding of tertiary education by the federal government, the IPPIS, COVID-19 and sundry issues. No where in the interview did the Chairman of Council mentioned ASUU-EKSU or made any unsavory remarks about the University. Thus, the virulent reaction of ASUU-EKSU is surprising to say the least.
The reaction of ASUU-EKSU, probably is a reflection of the Union’s misgivings on the financial crisis being experienced in the University.
In the first place, the Pro- Chancellor & Chairman of Council, Prof. Bamitale Omole, ought to be commended for the interview he granted rather than being unjustifiably criticized. For any discerning mind, Professor Omole had, through the interview demonstrated his selflessness, deep understanding of the education sector and commitment to the development of EKSU as an institution and Ekiti in general. As the Pro – Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Prof. Bamitale Omole has demonstrated since his appointment about two years ago, that he is a leader who is not driven or known to be interested in pecuniary interests unlike some of his predecessors in office who would be mounting pressure on the University Management for perquisites of office not quite two (2) months of assumption of office. Since his assumption of office about two (2) years ago, Prof. Omole has not mounted any pressure on the University Management for his rightful and official entitlements.
In the interview, he x-rayed issues concerning university education holistically where he spoke frankly unlike many typical government appointees and as someone who is well versed on the challenges confronting university education having been in the system consistently for about four (4) decades. For example, he alluded to the fact that the intervention of the Federal Government through TETFUND was a fall out of the various agitations of ASUU. He even went further to say that IPPIS does not capture the peculiar needs of our universities. This is an unassailable fact.
It is interesting to note that the Press Statement issued by ASUU-EKSU admitted that the current authorities of the University inherited the present financial problems from the administration of the immediate past Vice Chancellor, Professor Samuel Oye Bandele, including non-release of six (6) months subvention by the immediate past administration of Mr. Ayodele Fayose. Therefore, indicting the Professor Bamitale Omole-led Governing Council amounts to unfairness, duplicity and double speak which is regrettable.
To claim that the present Council Chairman “has done more harm than good by defending the non challant attitudes of Federal and State Governments” or that he “made beautiful but empty submissions about the underfunding problems being experienced by universities in Nigeria” is nothing, but a cheap blackmail and an abysmal lack of understanding of the interview under reference.
To worsen the situation, the Pro-Chancellor was referred to as a liar by claiming that “the major undoing of his yarns” in the press release was when he said that: “the Vice Chancellor, in collaboration with faculties, is introducing courses in Artificial intelligence and Robotics, Big Data Analytics, Bioinformatics, Cyber Security, Nanotechnology, Cloud computing Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and Mechatronics”. This kind of personal abuse instead of addressing issues does not represent the best tradition of academia or ASUU in particular. Agreed that the programmes have not commenced, it is however, pertinent to note that the initiative to introduce these courses and others, which is in tandem with the vision of the Vice Chancellor (as contained in the Vice Chancellor’s vision and mission statement) is commendable. The delay in the commencement of the proposed programmes is obvious, which is not unconnected with the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. Not so long, the programmes would commence. Besides, the Pro-Chancellor stated in the interview what EKSU plans to do post-COVID-19. Hence, calling the caliber of Prof. Bamitale Omole, the Pro – Chancellor and Chairman of Council, a liar is unacceptable and inappropriate. What is required at the moment, is that the entire University community should join hands with the University Authorities to ensure that these programmes commence as soon as practicable.
It is on record that the present Governing Council and by extension, the administration of Dr Kayode Fayemi have been clearing the mess inherited in the education sector and also desirous of making Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti a world class university that would be able to compete favourably among the comity of universities in Nigeria.
For the records, it should be noted that the current Govering Council which was inaugurated on January 28, 2019 met the sum of N1, 914,867,338.00 as accumulated unpaid Cooperative money owed members of staff by the previous administration. Within a year, a sum of N1,368,008,446.74 was paid to offset part of the accumulated debts arising from the unpaid cooperative deductions.
Again, unlike what it met on ground prior to its inauguration, this current Council has ensured that staff gross salaries were paid as and when due until the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic which has negatively affected the finances of the university.
For the sake of posterity, it should also be noted that the University has enjoyed a lot of support and financial interventions from Ekiti State government, under Dr. Kayode Fayemi. These include but not limited to:
*release of a sum of over 32 million Naira to facilitate the accreditation of the MBBS programme which had been neglected for many years by previous administrations. It was this government’s intervention that eventually led to the MBBS programme being granted full accreditation thus, resulting in the graduation of the first set of Medical Doctors who had stagnated for almost ten (10) years.
*donation of a 32-Seater Bus to the College of Medicine to meet part of the requirements for the accreditation of the Medical programme.
*release of a sum of 50 million Naira to facilitate and purchase of necessary equipment for the accreditation of eighteen (18) undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of the University that were presented to the National Universities Commission in November/December, 2019. All the programmes had full accreditation.
*facilitation of the signing of memoranda of understanding with two reputable estate developers and investors for the construction and provision of accommodation for principal officers, staff and students of the university. These developers/investors will be moving to site any moment from now.
In addition, it should be noted that despite the current precarious global economy, Ekiti State government has not reduced the monthly subvention given to the University unlike what is currently being experienced in some state universities in Nigeria. Sadly, the recent inability of the University to meet part of its financial obligations, especially the non remittance of some salary related deductions, is not unconnected with the lockdown which has seriously affected the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the University. More importantly, the failure of the past administration in the State to release six (6) months subvention to the University contributed in no small measure to the precarious financial situation of the university. Nonetheless, it is on record that our University paid the July salaries and pensions on August 4, 2020 unlike what obtains in many state and private universities which have found it increasingly difficult to pay salaries to their staff and indeed sacked some workers as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
It is also important to clear the air on the allegation of unremitted PAYE (Pay As You Earn) deductions to the State Inland Revenue Service. It is a well known fact that Professor Samuel Oye Bandele as Vice Chancellor did not remit these deductions to the Internal Revenue Service during his tenure. However, the present leadership of the University had paid N203,206,812.62 to the coffers of Ekiti State Inland Revenue Service since its inception to date.
On the issue of “Portal Fraud” raised in the statement by ASUU, let it be said categorically that there is no attempt by the Governing Council or the Management to sweep it under the carpet as being insinuated. All that Management has been doing was to follow due process as required by the university regulations. Management has concluded arrangement to table the matter and reports of the investigations at the next meeting of Council that will come up soon.
It is important to also emphasize that neither the Visitor, nor the Governing Council and the University Management has been lackadaisical to issues affecting the welfare of staff generally. To demonstrate this, the Visitor, with the Vice Chancellor in attendance, had met with the leadership of ASUU at both zonal and local levels twice within the past few months to discuss various issues raised by ASUU. The Governor and Visitor at those meetings gave assurances unequivocally, that the State government would address the issues raised by the union as soon as the finances of the state government improved.
ASUU, as partners in progress should join hands with the current leadership of the university in its drive to find lasting solutions to the financial crisis confronting the university, rather than aggravating it through unnecessary and unprovoked media attacks.
The doors of the Chairman of Council and the current Vice Chancellor are always open to dialogue with a view to providing the necessary and required leadership, contrary to ASUU-EKSU’s position.

Bode Olofinmuagun,
Head, Directorate of Information & Corporate Affairs