Nigeria: Workers Protest Unpaid Wage Award at Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology

Nigeria: Workers Protest Unpaid Wage Award at Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology

By Zuleihat Owuiye, Mamos Nigeria

On Tuesday, workers of Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology (OAUSTECH) in Okitipupa, Ondo State, took to the streets to protest against the non-payment of the N35,000 wage award by the state government. The protest was organized by the Joint Action Committee of all Tertiary Institutions, which includes members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, the Non-Academic Staff Union, and the National Association of Academic Technologists.

While the state government had started paying the wage allowance to state civil servants since November 2023, the workers of the tertiary institutions were still awaiting their payment. In response to this delay, the staff of OAUSTECH embarked on an indefinite strike last week, demanding their rightful compensation.

During the protest, the workers expressed their frustration by chanting solidarity songs and carrying placards with various inscriptions. The messages on the placards emphasized the workers’ right to the wage award and called for its immediate payment. They also highlighted the fact that they deserve fair compensation as they contribute to the same market as other workers who have already received the wage award.

Dayo Temola, the Chairman of the Joint Action Committee at OAUSTECH, addressed the crowd during the protest. He expressed disappointment over the government’s failure to pay the wage award and other allowances. Temola emphasized that the workers are also demanding the implementation of the 2019 minimum wage, which has been long overdue. He pointed out that the current salaries are insufficient to cover their basic needs and urged the government to increase the monthly subvention of the university by 100%.

The state governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who was present at the institution for a convocation ceremony, appealed to the protesting workers. He scheduled a meeting with the union leaders of the university for the following day, indicating his willingness to address their concerns.

The protest at OAUSTECH highlights the ongoing struggle of workers in the education sector to receive fair compensation for their services. It serves as a reminder that the welfare of university staff should be a priority, as they play a crucial role in shaping the future of the nation through education.

The Joint Action Committee’s demand for the payment of the wage award and the implementation of the 2019 minimum wage is justified. Adequate compensation is essential to motivate and retain qualified personnel in the education sector. It is crucial for the government to address these issues promptly and ensure that the workers’ rights are upheld.

As the workers await the outcome of the scheduled meeting with the state governor, the hope is that a resolution will be reached to end the strike and ensure that the workers receive their rightful compensation. The welfare of university workers should not be neglected, and their contributions to the development of the nation should be recognized and rewarded accordingly.

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