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Unpaid salaries: Ogun assembly, CP invite TASCE staff coalition to find ‘lasting solution’

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THE Ogun State House of Assembly and Commissioner of Police have invited the Coalition of Tai Solarin College of Education Staff (COTAS) so as to resolve the welfare and infrastructural challenges faced by the school.

In a letter dated April 12 and sent to the coalition chairman, Daniel Aborisade, the state assembly said its attention was drawn to the ongoing crisis on Friday at its budget assessment exercise.

“As a way of finding an amicable and lasting solution to the crisis, the House has directed the House Committee on Education, Science and Technology to invite you and your association to a meeting on Tuesday, April 16th,” the letter, signed by James Obanla, said.

The ICIR gathered from Aborisade that they received a similar invitation from the state Commissioner of Police, Bashir Dabup Makama, whom they will be meeting on Wednesday.

The coalition had, on Thursday, written to the police boss requesting for protection for members of the staff in carrying out their lawful duties on campus and prevent a breakdown of law and order.

The CP had earlier instructed the staff to call a congress and report its resolutions to the Area Commander at Igbeba, Ijebu-Ode. But the provost, Lukman Kiadese, the letter stated, did not show up for the congress as directed.

“[Kiadese] was forcefully returned to the College with the help of combined soldiers and police detachment,” it said. “Some of our staffs were wounded when they were trying to flee and save their lives. It is not evident that the Provost is confrontational and not ready for peace.”

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In a three-part report published in March, The ICIR reported that the state government owes staff of the college up to N4.3 billion in Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure (CTISS) and Consolidated University Academic Salary Structure (CUASS) arrears for the period of July 2009 to December 2018. This has led to hardship for many of the employees and the death of up to 48.

The government has also yet to set up a Governing Council for the college since it was moved to a new campus in 2008 and no single college project has been funded under the Ibikunle Amosun administration, according to COTAS.

Before the report was published, the provost declined to comment on the allegations of reckless spending and fund mismanagement levelled against him.

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'Kunle works with The ICIR as an investigative reporter and fact-checker. You can shoot him an email via aadebajo@icirnigeria.org or, if you're feeling particularly generous, follow him on Twitter @KunleBajo.

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