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FUL VC appointment: Group calls for cancellation of exercise over alleged gross irregularities

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FUL VC appointment: Group calls for cancellation of exercise over alleged gross irregularities

For what it described as gross irregularities in the process for the appointment of Vice-Chancellor for Federal University, Lokoja (FUL), UK’Omu Igala Organization, an umbrella body for all civil society and cultural associations in Kogi East Senatorial District, has called for the cancellation of the entire process.
In a press statement signed by the National Leader of the Organization, Comptroller Abdul Amade (rtd), the socio-cultural organisation said it was curious that the Senator Chris Adighije-led screening committee disqualified all applicants of Igala extraction for the position of Vice-Chancellor.
The body passed a vote of no confidence on the committee which carried out the assignment of shortlisting.
Therefore, they called on the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, to call the Chairman of Council of Federal University Lokoja to order, so as to prevent break down of law and order in the institution in the short run and to avoid continued stagnation of the University, in the long run.
It also asked the Minister to ensure that the process is carried out afresh in a transparent manner where all candidates who meet the requirement are considered.
The UK’Omu Igala also want the minister to bring to bear his experience in the
quick intervention in the discrepancies that arose in the selection of the Vice-Chancellors of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and those of the Universities of Ibadan and Lagos.
“Your efforts at promptly restoring peace in the aforementioned citadels of learning are memorable and highly commendable.”
Above all the organization asked the minister to ensure due process is seen to be followed to the later in the appointment of  Vice-Chancellor for Federal University, Lokoja as they have no confidence in the skewed process as they strongly reject the entire compromised exercise where merit was sacrificed for selfish and parochial considerations.

They reiterated their believe that it is expedient and instructive for the Minister to quickly use his good offices to intervene and put the whole exercise to a hold, as it has led to serious agitation in the state.

According to the Statement, “Report has it that about 80 persons applied for the position out of which 20 distinguished and experienced professors of Igala extraction specifically from Kogi East (one of the three senatorial district of Kogi State) applied.
“To the best of our knowledge, these scholars of Igala extraction met the criteria published as qualifications for application for the position.

“However, to our greatest surprise, none of them was shortlisted for consideration, making the process suspicious and clandestine.”
Following the impending departure of Professor Angela Freeman Miri in February 2021, advertisements were placed on various media channels calling for qualified candidates to apply for the position of Vice-Chancellor, Federal University, Lokoja to succeed the out-going Vice-Chancellor.
The group said they came to the conclusion following analysis and comparison between the twelve (12) shortlist and some of the Igala Professors that were disqualified from further participation in the process.
According to them, A Google scholar search revealed that whereas, at least, five of the Igala Professors had between 35 and 165 GoogleScholar –accessible Publications on the internet, six (6) (or 50%) of the twelve top shortlist for position of VC by FUL council have GoogleScholar –accessiblePublications of only between 2 and 20.
“Other indices academic impact like googlescholar citations and h-index are even more revealing.
“Whereas, at least five (5) of the ten disqualified Igala Professors were
elevated to the rank of Professors, mostly in first generation
universities, between ten (10) and up to twenty (20) or more years ago,
some of the top FUL Council’s shortlist for VC currently have less than
ten (10) years of experience as Professors, and many of them from
second and third generation Universities.
“While, at least one of the disqualified Igala Professors is a Fellow of the merit-based apex umbrella scientific organization, the Nigerian Academy of Science, none of those on the shortlist appears to have earned such scholarly status (Fellow of Nigerian Academy of Science
or Fellow of Nigerian Academy of Letters.
The Organization went further to explain that whereas, some of the disqualified Igala Professors have notable national and international exposures, having won some competitive
research fellowships, grants and scholarships, and are, or have been
members of some relevant national committees for grant administration
(like TETfund Standing Committee on Research and Development,
National Research Fund, Nigerian Science Prize, etc), most that made
it to the FUL Council’s shortlist for VC are simply “local champions.”
Explaining further, the statement said, whereas, many of the disqualified Igala Professors have administrative
experiences as Head of Department, Assistant Deans, Deputy Deans
and even Directors in mostly, first and second generation universities
where administration is more complex and challenging, many of the
shortlisted candidates can only flout “higher” administrative
experiences in “last generation” universities and private institutions,
where administration is at best, routine.

“In circumstances of stiff competition for position of Vice Chancellor,
parameters such as presentation of “Inaugural Lecture”, being a desirable academic responsibility, is usually introduced. “However, it is
observed that while some disqualified Igala Professors have presented their “Inaugural Lectures”, some of the shortlisted candidates have not.
“As if these anomalies were not enough, the Council of Federal
University Lokoja involved itself in some “illegal maneuvers” in order to achieve its hidden agenda to plant a non-viable and sub-standard
University administration at Federal University, Lokoja.
“These include, Appointing a ‘Shortlisting Committee’ to undertake a generally discredited shortlisting process that is antithetical to academic traditions and inimical to dream of any institution of higher learning to march towards world-class status by using criteria that are not the most essential academic criteria in appointing a Vice Chancellor that has robust capacity to take FUL to the next level is not acceptable.
“This is because, there is no provision for such a committee under the University Laws. What is provided for, is “Selection Committee” that will undertake both shortlisting and Interview of the candidates.”
According to the statement, the criteria used by the so-called “Shortlisting Committee” to disqualify Igala Professors were supposed to be debated, amended and accepted by the entire council for implementation by the Selection Committee, even before applications were opened by the Committee.
“None of these basic principles of international, or even national best practices was adhered to.
Again the statement observed, “Instead of discharging its duties within the premises of Federal University Lokoja under the full glare of the administrative and security structures of the University, the ‘Shortlisting Committee’ met twice in Abuja in a very suspicious move (first for about a week ), in order to perform its ‘duties’ when there is no imminent breach to security in FUL premises, or indeed, Lokoja town.
“Based on these anomalies, we are compelled to believe that the Council of Federal University Lokoja has not displayed adequate evidence of intention and/or capacity to fairly and transparently organize, implement and supervise an acceptable meritbased process that would lead to the appointment of a Vice Chancellor with intellectual capacity, relevant national and international exposures, and social and political acceptability to lead Federal University Lokoja in a way that would usher in steady development and stability in the next dispensation.

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Education

SSANU, NASU suspend 3 weeks old strike

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SSANU, NASU suspend 3 weeks old strike


The three-week-old strike embarked upon by the Joint Action Committee of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has been suspended with effect from midnight of on Friday, February 26.
After holding a meeting with the delegation of Federal Government led by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige the
President of SSANU, Mohammed Ibrahim Haruna, and the NASU General Secretary, Peters Adeyemi, gave the indication on Thursday night.

On 5th February the leaderdhip of the unions directed all its branches to commence an indefinite strike with a view to pressing home their demands bordering on alleged injustice on sharing formula of N40bn Earned Allowance and non-payment minimum wage arrears.

Other contentious issues raised include inconsistencies in the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), delay in renegotiation of FG/NASU and SSANU 2009 agreement, non-payment of retirement benefits of outgone members among others.

Adeyemi while addressing newsmen after the meeting said the unions agreed to suspend the nationwide strike after extracting some concessions from the government, noting that the union’s demand have been harmonized to the satisfaction of both parties.

He pointed out that they will continue to monitor the agreements that have been reached with a timeline to ensure that FG implements its own side of the bargain.

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New Lokoja varsity VC declares that his goal is to attain the institution’s mission statement

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New Lokoja varsity VC declares that his goal is to attain the institution’s mission statement

The newly inaugurated Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Lokoja (FUL) Professor Olayemi Akinwumi, on Monday pledged to ensure attainment of the university’s Stated mission to be one of the 10-top ranking universities in Africa.

Akinwumi disclosed this in his inaugural speech at a ceremony to mark the official take-off of his administration on Monday at the Permanent Site of the institution at Felele area of Lokoja.

He said that the university established along with eight others in 2011 had in 10 years attracted a solid academic, administrative and technical staff and also attracted students from all over the country.

“My primary goal is to add value to the university stated mission which is to be the best among the nine newly-established Federal universities and one of the 10-top ranking universities in Africa.

“I just know what I need to do if Federal University, Lokoja is to move to the top-10. The first part of the vision is relatively more straight-forward. I have personally been to all the Federal Universities established in 2011”, he said.

The new Vice Chancellor revealed that the university currently ranked seventh among the nine Federal Universities established in 2011, 78th in Nigeria, 255th in Africa and 10,600th in the world.

“The university has a unique mission to train employable graduates through competency-based teaching, applied research and practical community service to the catchment area, Africa and the world.

“At the interview that gave me this job, I submitted a vision plan that outlined what I will do if I got the job. Now that I have the job, I have reviewed the plan alongside the university’s strategic plan.

“I will share the plan with an expanded management committee and subsequently with the Senate so that it will be adopted and truly owned by the university”, he said.

The newly inaugurated Vice Chancellor said that by the first week of next month, he would share his vision plan with an expanded management committee and setup a 120-day agender for the the implementation of the plan.

Governor Yahaya Bello represented by the state Commissioner for Education, Mr Wemi Jones congratulated Akinwumi as the first indigene of Kogi to be Vice Chancellor of the Federal University.

Describing the Vice Chancellor as a “Champion”, he said, “Even before your arrival, we have taken time to find out your antecedents and what and what you have done and we are excited that you are with us in Lokoja at this time.

“I am now convinced that with what you have accomplished, I am just optimist that the Federal University, Lokoja is in the best of hands and shall see glorious development going forward”, he said. (NAN)

FDJ/

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Council boss, community leaders laud NACWYCA over school furniture donation worth N5.5million

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Council boss, community leaders laud NACWYCA over school furniture donation worth N5.5million

From Daniel Abel, Lafia

The local council chairman of Wamba, honorable Abubakar Abbas and community leaders in Nunku, Alushi have lauded Center for Women, Youths and Community Action (NAWYC) a civil society organisation for the donation of 200 school desks, renovation of four blocks of classrooms in the state.

Honorable Abubakar while receiving the items donated on Friday at the Ta’al model school Wamba, commended the CSO for choosing the local governments and the schools.

“We are very happy and as well challenged by your determination and sacrifices for providing items that create conducive study environments to the vulnerable children in the rural schools” Mr. Abbas stated.

Mr. Abbas urged the school management to maintain the items prudently and the hosts communities to provide security against vandalism of the properties.

Other items donated include 2 first aid boxes, 10 tables and 20 chairs for teachers use.

The proprietor of the Center for Women, Youths and Community Action (NAWYCA) Dr. Nawani Aboki while handing over the items to the benefiting schools said the donation include two first aid boxes, 200 desk with 100 each to Ta’al model Islamia secondary school and RCM secondary school all in Wamba loval government respectively.

In the same vain three blocks of classrooms each in government day secondary school, Wamba, pilot science primary school, Nunku, Akwanga, government secondary school, Alushi were renovated and furnished by NACWYCA with support from Institute of Human Virology (IHVNigeria), Center for Disease Control (CDC).

According to the proprietor, the projects cost N5.5million only.

Mr. Aboki added that his organization is focus on identifying and supporting the vulnerable women and children with good nutrition and education in the state through a platform known as OVC–ACHIEVE(orphans and vulnerable Children–Achieving Control of HIV/Aids Epidemic Through Evidence.

The principal of government day secondary school, Wamba Mrs. Regina Dauda in appreciation said that the renovation of the block of three classrooms will create a conducive learning environment for the students.

Community leaders in Wamba, Nunku and Alushi who witnessed the donations, lauded the NGO for reaching out to the vulnerable in their communities and pleaded with the state government and other concerned agencies to emulate the gesture of NACWYCA.

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