* 16 dead, others alive nursing different ailments due to financial incapacitation – Pensioners
By Nudoiba Ojen
The 2010 retirees of Lagos State Polytechnic (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology) have appealed to the state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to pay their outstanding entitlements to save their members from untimely deaths and sufferings.
The retirees, comprising about 140 former academic and non-academic staff, mostly pioneer staff of LASPOTECH, lamented that they had been subjected to untold hardship over being denied of their entitlements after serving the institution meritoriously when they were agile.
In a letter to the governor dated September 11, 2023, the Chairman and Secretary of the 2010 Retirees, Mrs Olubunmi Aina and Dr Philip Adepoju respectively, canvassed “redress of the unfair treatment of Year 2010 retirees by the polytechnic Management”.
They are seeking “immediate reinstatement of their full pension based on the salary structure operating in the polytechnic then; and payment of 15/16 months pension stoppage from June 2016 to August/September 2017 as the case may be.
Others include, “Payment of balance of gratuity arising from salary difference occasioned by salary increase backdated to July 1, 2009, payment of pension arrears of 14 and 20 months to Academic and Non-Academic staff respectively; and payment of difference in pension since September/October 2017 respectively to date”.
The 2010 retirees lamented that “as at October 2021, 16 of our members have died because they lacked the financial capacity to take care of their illnesses which full payment of pension could have ameliorated.
“These late members have beneficiaries who can enjoy the fruits of labour of their demised providers. Many others who are alive are nursing different ailments they cannot treat adequately because of financial incapacitation,” they stated.
* * LASUSTECH VC, Prof. Olumuyiwa Odusanya
They listed the deceased members as Mr. O. B. Aremu, Mr A. O. Sekoni, Mr M. A. Ashafa, Mr Oshodi, Mr Oduboni, Mr O. M. Oyerinde, Mrs R Tobalase, Mrs I. B. Babayanju, Mr. O. Adeboye, Mr. R. A. Adefowora, Mr. J. Ajibola, Mr. S. B. Davis, Mrs A. S. Oyinlola, Mr O. Owaneye, Mr I. A. Ladele and Mrs Assiak Oshikoya.
The pensioners, who said that they are being punished by fiat of the Auditor General of the state and some civil servants, said, “For the avoidance of doubt, LASPOTECH, by the rules establishing it has a Governing Council that takes policy decisions on behalf of the Governor of the State, and not through any directives of any civil servant of Lagos State Government.
“In March 2021, the Governing Council of the Polytechnic invited our representative for discussion. After waiting for six months without any response, we wrote to remind the Council, but up till today, nothing has come out of the meeting.
“Appeals were again made in writing to the Governor in year 2021 and many other organs of Lagos State Government including the State House of Assembly were copied, but nobody had deemed it fit to look into our plight.
“You may wish to know that some of our colleagues have taken their case to the National Industrial Court and judgment have been given in favour of the said staff, but LASPOTECH (now Lagos State University of Science and Technology) has taken the case to Appeal Court.
“In recent time, appeals have also been made to the Special Adviser on Education and the Vice Chancellor, Lagos State University of Science and Technology (formerly LASPOTECH). All of these have not yielded any result”, the 2010 retirees stated.