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Popoola

Amidst the plethora of issues rocking Osun State University (UNIOSUN), Osogbo, which often disrupt the school’s academic calendar, vice chancellor of the institution, Prof. Labode Popoola, has described the entire episodes between the management and some of the workers as corruption fighting back.

Popoola in a chat with journalist in his office where he addressed the vexed issues said he has never been corrupt and has saved for the university up to N2b through blocking of leakages and corrupt practices among some members of staff since he assumed office.

Recall that workers under the aegis of the Senior Staff Association of Universities (SSANU) National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) had accused the Popoola led-management of highhandedness, financial misappropriation, abuse of office and gross misconduct among others. The union therefore called for the removal of the VC and immediate dissolution of the governing council.

But Popoola, in his reaction said, “I have never been corrupt. I fight corruption and so we have a situation of corruption fighting back at UNIOSUN, it is as simple as that. I always like to refer people to my profile. There are some international engagements you get involved in and if you are corrupt, your name will not even appear in such engagements. So it is all allegations and blatant lies.

“I did not inherit N3bn. What I had in the papers handed over to me was N1.8b including TETFund and NEEDs assessment money, grants owned by some researchers in this university, you cant even touch them because they don’t belong to the university. So the university was bankrupt when I took it over and we found out later that there were debts owed running close to a billion naira.

“And so if some people under the guise of unionism will raise such allegations because they have issues with the vice chancellor, then something must be wrong somewhere. At UNIOSUN we have a group of people operating under the guise of unionism, they are not even up to 20 individuals. They were in charge of administration before I came here. I also need to add that since I came here, I have made money, close to N2b through blocking of leakages, insisting that school fees must be paid. We operate a no fee no exam regime since I came, that was not the case before.”

Popoola stressed that the only offence his administration committed despite keeping its obligations to workers welfare, was its refusal to dance to the tune of the group, which always insist things must be done their own way.

“No university pays salaries ahead of me in this country. A state university that is not funded by the government, we barely receive about 25 per cent of our salary bill from government and yet for 18 months that I have been here, we pay salaries by the 25th of every month. And it is full salary. So it is just about vested interest, it is no longer business as usual, we have blocked leakages, that is what we are dealing with and not workers.”



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