Members of staff of the six Oyo State-owned tertiary institutions, under the aegis of Joint Action Committee (JAC), have lauded Governor ‘Seyi Makinde for what they called ‘several unprecedented impacts’ he has made on the tertiary education sector.
The workers, who paid a thank-you-visit to the governor at the secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan thanked him for improved welfare of members of JAC in the last 44 months.
The body also described Governor Makinde as a great leader of contemporary Nigeria and the face of good governance in the country.
The JAC comprises workers from the Emmanuel Alayande College of Education, Oyo; The Polytechnic, Ibadan; The Oke Ogun Polytechnic, Saki; the Adeseun Ogundoyin Polytechnic, Eruwa; College of Education, Lanlate and the Oyo State College of Agricultural Technology, Igboora.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Taiwo Adisa, quoted the JAC Chairman, Segun Oyewumi, as saying that Makinde’s warm disposition to the welfare of JAC members and the improvement of the tertiary education sector is exemplary and second to none.
He lauded the governor for restoring the subventions to tertiary institutions to 100 per cent from the 25 per cent left by the immediate past administration, the payment of N6.8 billion out of the N8.4 billion debt owed by the previous administration and the approval of a N106 million sustainability support fund, which has enabled tertiary institutions workers to get their full salaries in the last few months, among others.
In his response, the governor said he would continue to look after the welfare of the people of the state, saying: “We have discussed most of the things the JAC chairman said privately. The engagement is ongoing. You have a government and your government should look after you.
“The power of the government is derived from the people. I am sure very soon, our democracy will get there. We are starting on that trajectory, whereby power will flow from the people. Any government that does not take the welfare of its people seriously is not worth being called a government.
“In 2019, I met with the JAC leadership at the Labamba Hotel, Oyo. We have been engaging with you. I am somebody that will not deceive you. I told the people of Oyo State that I may not be right all the time, but I will be honest all the time.
“The sustainability support, I approved it for three months thinking that within that period, we would have got a permanent solution. But I told the JAC chairman that we may not be able to get a permanent solution within three months. So, I will continue to pay until we have a permanent solution.
“The JAC chairman also talked about the money owed by the previous government and we have also discussed it. But you will have to sign off on the ones that we paid, please go through the same process. We will know how to defray the debts.
“He also asked for the representation of the JAC on the implementation committee for the Emmanuel University of Education. We will give you a slot; I will tell the chairman of the committee, Ayodeji Omole.”
The governor equally stated that the state government would also address the issue of casual staff when it is able to determine the financial implications and the number of vacancies in the institutions, among others.
He added that the state will support the institutions on the issue of accreditation of courses.
He said: “We will support you on the issue of accreditation. When we came in, one of the problems we inherited at Adeseun Ogundoyin was that our children could not participate in the National Youth Service Corps. Now, we have solved that problem.
“I want to appreciate you, because you have given us that conducive atmosphere. If there had been an atmosphere of unrest, we would not be able to do well. Some people do not mean well, but if they come to you with money, do not collect it. Anyway, they don’t even have money. That is why you see that they have not been campaigning.”
Earlier, Oyewumi said the entire staff of the Oyo-owned institutions had come to the secretariat to appreciate Makinde for his unprecedented impact on the education sector.