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23 UNN staff under investigation over job scam – VC, Ozumba

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Amidst public outcry over the level of employment scam that hit the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba has disclosed that no fewer than 23 persons were already answering questions from security operatives.

Ozumba stated this while responding to questions from journalists on Monday during his end-tenure press briefing at the UNN.

It is reported that money ranging from N500,000 to N1.5m was being collected from job seekers. Some of them end up not getting any job even after making the said payment.

While saying he does not respond to rumours, the VC declared that “if you are a victim, or you know any of such persons, let him come up, we will deal with the case.

“Already we are working with the DSS on this and 23 persons are already being interrogated. There is also the issue of admission racketeering; these things did not start today, they have been there.”

On his stewardship for the five years as the 14th Vice Chancellor of the University, he said he met a dysfunctional University, but that he braved the odds and sanitized the system.

“Prior to 2014, the University was listed as dysfunctional but today and for the third consecutive year since 2016, we are ranked by Webometrics as number one University in Nigeria, especially in the area of research.

“Our enviable position as the Best in Research publications is still very evident and among the top 1500 Universities in the world”, he said.

He said his administration met backlog of programme and course not accredited.

“Today, the story is different as over 100 academic programme running in this university are fully accredited.

“I will remain grateful to council members and university management for their support and cooperation.

“Under my stewardship new faculties were created such as faculty of Vocational and Technical Education and Faculty of Basic Medical Science are created,” he added.

He expressed appreciation to the university council members, university management staff and students for the maximum support and cooperation given to his administration.

The Vice Chancellor said his first move on assumption of office was to restore peace and tranquility within the campuses, as well as improve the welfare of staff and students.

Ozumba said his administration enhanced knowledge and usage of ICT creation of new faculties; Establishment of Science Park; regular and prompt payment of workers salaries, as well as the generation of electricity from wastes and manufacturing of the lion laptop as innovations to put the university on the world map, among others.

The VC said his administration had a cordial relationship with Students Union Government (SUG) because staff and students welfare were given special attention.

Ozumba said his administration had some completed projects to be inaugurated before his exit in June 14.

In a remark, the chairman of the end of service committee, Prof. Nnanyelugo Okoro, described the VC as a consummate administrator and a professional per excellence whose tenure had achieved much for the university.

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Education

Nigerian Lecturer Sacked By Ghana Varsity Recounts Ordeal, Vows Never To Go Back To Ghana

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The professor of English noted that the meeting in the video was supposed to be a private discussion and not a lecture as the Ghanaian media claimed, adding that it was not meant to condemn the people of Ghana.

Austin Nwagbara, the Nigerian Professor sacked by a Ghanaian university over unsavoury comments about Ghana, has recounted his ordeal, vowing not to go back to Ghana because of the humiliation.

He spoke on Thursday in Abuja at a meeting with the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Citizens in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

Nwagbara noted that the police further complicated the matter when he voluntarily reported at the police station alongside the Nigeria High Commissioner. He claimed the police twisted the story that he was arrested and handcuffed.

The Professor of English noted that the meeting in the video was supposed to be a private discussion and not a lecture as Ghanaian media claimed, adding that it was not meant to condemn the people of Ghana.






He said the Ghanaian media deliberately skewed the story as part of their anti-Nigeria agenda with the view to cast aspersion on Nigerians living in their country.

He added that the entire story was orchestrated to run Nigeria down.

He said, “It was a gathering of Nigerians who came out to see how the unfriendly relationship between Ghanaians and Nigerians could be resolved. For a large part of that meeting, Nigerians were taking the blame but the person who edited the video has his agenda.

“I know that nobody likes to be condemned and the intention was not to talk bad about Ghanaians. I have a great Ghanaian friend. I taught many Ghanaian students and we have been in good relationships. There are great Ghanaian scholars but the media projected it in a strange way, saying, “who is this Nigerian to come and question our system.”

“You cannot plan a coup in an open place, you cannot do it in an open restaurant and what will I be planning a coup for? That is an absolute lack of knowledge to say a Nigerian with thirty others were planning to take over the government of Ghana.”






The professor also said he was not given enough time to defend himself before the panel of enquiry set up by the university to investigate the matter. .

The University of Education, Winneba, Ghana, had sacked Nwagbara, a visiting Nigerian lecturer, over comments he made in a video that has since gone viral.

He was accused of making unsavoury, unethical and damning comments about Ghana, its history as well as its educational system.

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Education

Anambra State To Sack Teachers Without Qualification

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Anambra State government has given December 31 this year as the deadline for teachers without the requisite qualification to either acquire it or be given the boot.

The state Ministry of Basic Education in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Mr. Nnaemeka Egwuonwu, for the Commissioner for Basic Education, Prof. Kate Omenugha, gave the warning on Wednesday.

Omenugha said it was in line with an earlier directive of the Minister of Education to disengage teachers without the right qualification by December.

It added that a reminder had earlier been addressed to the chairman of the Post Primary Schools Service Commission (PPSSC), Anambra State Universal Basic Education (ASUBEB) and Education Secretaries.

The state also referred to the Teachers’ Registration Council of Nigeria’s (TRCN) letter of April 24, regarding the minister’s directive.

The reminder urged teachers to be registered and licensed by TRCN in line with section 17, Sub-Section 2 of the enabling law establishing the council.

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Senate speaks on SSANU, NASU strike

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The Senate, on Tuesday, passed a resolution to avert impending strike by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (NASU).

This followed a motion by Sen. Barau Jibril (APC-Kano), on the urgent need to avert the impending strike by SSANU and NASU.

Barau, who brought the motion, cited order 42 and 52 of the Senate rule, saying both unions had issued a strike warning to the Federal Government.

He said the unions had indicated their planned strike was based on the inability of government to grant their request, NAN reports.

According to Barau, the unions said their members were excluded from participating in the new pension administration approved for university lecturers.

He explained that the unions said the payment of 20 per cent earned allowance to their members as against the payment of 80 per cent to the Academic Staff Union of University (ASSU), was not acceptable.

Barau said the planned strike, if allowed to go on would not be in the interest of the nation’s tertiary institutions.

He maintained that the senate owned it a duty to intervene in the proposed strike.

Contributing, Sen. Adamu Aliero (APC-Kebbi), who seconded the motion, said it was important for Senate to intervene to avoid another crisis in higher institutions.

In his contribution, Sen. Chimaroke Nnamani,(PDP-Enugu), said the senate must urgently intervene to advert the looming strike by the unions.

Sen. Ibrahim Oloriebe (APC- Kwara), said the effect of strike would put several students on the streets.

Other senators, who supported the motion stressed the need for a stable calendar in the educational system, given the importance of manpower to the development of any nation.
Some of the senators also called for adequate funding of tertiary institutions and payment of lecturers.

The senate thereafter, resolved to invite the leadership of SSANU, NASU and ASSU to resolve the issue.

It also resolved to invite officials of Ministry of Labour and Productivity and Ministry of Education to address issues raised by the unions.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the unions had begun a three- day protest on Monday to press home their demands from the federal government.

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