The Non-Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities and Associated Institutions (NASU), Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye Branch, on Tuesday, 8th June, 2020 donated some anti-COVID-19 materials to the University as part of the Union’s contributions towards preventing members of the University Community from contracting the pandemic. Presenting the materials which included water dispensers with packs of liquid soap, hand sanitizers, and some nose masks to the Management, the Chairman of the Union, Comrade John Rasaki, who was accompanied by other members of the Branch Executives noted that his Union was not oblivious of the social and economic challenges occasioned by the global pandemic and thus decided to contribute in their own little ways towards ensuring that members of the University community remain safe from the scourge of the pandemic.
According to him, “we at NASU-OOU would want to augment the efforts of the Management, but we are not very rich and yet did not want to leave the Management alone in its resolve to prevent the spread of corona virus pandemic among staff in particular and the University in general”. Speaking further, Comrade Rasaki commended the Management for living up to expectation in terms of staff welfare through prompt and regular payment of staff salaries and allowances during the total lockdown period. This singular act, he said, did not only subside the fear of unknown associated with the lockdown period but also strengthened the belief of the NASU members on how the current Management prioritized their welfare.
He disclosed that the Union had also supported staff with the provision of palliatives to its members through distribution of food items to them. In his words, “some days ago, we purchased about 140 bags of rice which we distributed to our members in order to assist them”.
“Therefore, our donation, was not only meant to appreciate the Management for its empathy, responsiveness, and show of love to staff but also to extend our widow’s mite to other members of the University community”. He thereafter reiterated the commitment and loyalty of his members towards the progress and development of the University.
In his response, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde commended the Union for its wonderful gesture to the University and its contribution to the efforts of the Management towards fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Prof. Olatunde recalled that throughout the lockdown period, Management had not rested on its oars but engaged in matters relating to staff welfare, intellectual entrepreneurship and social development for community service. According to the University’s helmsman, “Management had consistently ensured that we do the best we can for our staff members during the lockdown period by paying salaries and allowances regularly, funding and supporting research towards fighting the COVID-19 pandemic”.
“Let me mention again that OOU is one University that has produced an anti-COVID-19 herbal syrup which we have sent to NAFDAC for approval. Once NAFDAC concludes its assessment, and the drug is finally approved, it will be effective and efficient in combating the symptoms of COVID-19” he noted.
The Vice-Chancellor, however, stated that apart from the production of Anti-COVID-19 syrup by the University research team, Management was also very proactive in the fight against the pandemic, by ensuring that resumption of staff to their duty posts were phased until the latest resumption directive from the State Government. He mentioned that the university also held in high esteem the adherence to health protocols and advisories outlined by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) such as regular washing of hands, observing social distance, and wearing of face mask or face shield on the university campuses.
Prof. Olatunde gave NASU a pat on the back for its tradition of ensuring genuine peace for the progress and development of the University. He also lauded the Union for having an outstanding welfare policy for its members. He said their contributions had always placed staff members of the University in good stead. According to the Vice-Chancellor, “we appreciate these presentations to the Management of the University towards ensuring that we wash our hands properly and ensure we keep good hygiene. We want to assure you that we would make judicious use of the donations as the Environmental Management Unit of the University would take charge and ensure it is evenly distributed among the campuses and their various Units”. “We are also not unaware of your Union welfare packages for your members in the past and of recent, and we do hope it will continue” .
While advising the NASU Executives not to rest on their oars, Prof. Olatunde disclosed that the so many feats recorded in the University would not have been possible without the contributions and unflinching supports of the University staff including NASU members. He particularly referenced the outcome of the 2019 Academic programme Accreditation Exercise by the National Universities Commission (NUC), where the University recorded FULL accreditation status for all the four programmes presented. This, according to the Vice-Chancellor placed the institution on higher stead, where seventy (70) out of the Seventy-two (72) academic programmes being run in the University now have FULL ACREDITATION status.
The highpoint of the event was the handing-over of the anti COVID-19 materials to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde by the NASU-OOU Chairman, Comrade John Rasaki. Also at the event, were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, (Academic), Prof. Deji Agboola, Registrar, Mr. Femi Ogunwomoju, University Librarian, Dr. Adebambo Oduwole, Bursar, Mr. Semiu Makinde, and other officials of the University. The NASU-OOU Secretary, Mrs. Olusola Ogunbanwo, Treasurer, Mr. Olayinka Elegbede, Women Leader, Mrs. Morenike Taiwo among others were equally on the team of the NASU-OOU.