The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has released N200 million to Michael Otedola College of Primary Education for clearance of 14 year pension backlogs, pending gratuities and outstanding salary arrears, and the institution’s other pressing needs such that may have been cause of setback to the college, academic wise.
As gathered, the released funds was a bailout intervention aimed at relieving the college’s retirees and to also financially stabilize the college and remove it from persistent financial crises.
The governor indicated that the provided fund was released to settle gratuities of retirees, dead and alive, of the college on old pension scheme and pay about 14 years pension arrears to the same retirees.
Speaking during the college’s 25 years anniversary over the weekend, Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Education, Tokunbo Wahab, stated that part of the administration’s move on the bailout intention of N200 million was to assist the college in clearing six months outstanding salary arrears and part-payment of tax liabilities, as well as settlement of other debts indicated by the school.
He said that the released N200 million was to savage situation and give the school adequate financial strength needed for academic performance, having considered the importance of the college and role it plays in the state’s educational purview.
“Pensions and gratuities of people who had worked in the school would be cleared and my administration shall continue to support the college”, he assured.
Commending the governor’s gesture, the college’s Provost, Associate Professor, Nosiru Onibon, expressed satisfaction on the N200 million bailout fund the school received from the state government, for clearance of both pensions and gratuities backlogs, six months salary arrears, tax liabilities and other debts that have almost crippled the institution.
He explained that the bail out funds was a huge relief for the college, saying the fund would enable payment of gratuities to the retirees , dead or alive, and cleared about 14 years pension arrears to the same retirees.
He added that the school would also be able to make part-payment of tax liabilities and full payment of six months salary arrears to all the concerned retirees, payment of two months out of the seven month salary arrears to the staff who are still in the service of the college.
“I appreciate the current administration, led by Sanwo-Olu for rescuing the college in the payment of some outstanding debts and this gesture would eliminate financial weaknesses affecting the school.
On the college’s plans on programs, Onibon disclosed that the college planned to expand the coast of making education accessible and inclusive for all and that the institution had concluded plans to start offering Professional Diploma in Education (PDE), and opening of outreach centres in various locations within the college environs.
He added that there was were also plans to re-introducing sandwich degree programs in collaboration with another university and complete computerization of it’s registry, and establish entrepreneurship directorate for vocational training to students and others.
Besides, the provost hinted that the college had in 2015 accessed 2015 TET Fund as Normal Intervention for Academic Staff Training and Institution Based Research and Teaching Practice.
“The challenges being faced by the Institution as; inability to pay the remaining five month arrears inherited from past regimes, lack of fund; capital vote not accessed regularly, unavailability of a college master-plan and encroachment of the college land”.
“I must appreciate all members of staff for the support towards the progress of the college and most especially the current government of the state for rescuing the institution in the settlement of entitlement of pensioners”.