The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has called on the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Universities Commission, NUC, to wade into the crisis rocking Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State.
NANS also demanded the removal of the embattled Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Cordelia Agbebaku, over non-qualification.
In a statement by its Vice President, External Affairs, Mr. Peculiar Asemota, NANS expressed deep concern over the trend of events in the university.
“This hitherto revered citadel of learning is being rapidly plummeted down the labyrinth of ignominy as favoritism and strong arm tactics now thrive above merit,” it said.
NANS noted that academics and other allied activities at Ambrose Alli University have not only been stagnated, but is also now auto-piloted on a reverse gear since May, 2011 when Prof. Agbebaku was appointed Acting Vice Chancellor.
“At the time of her appointment, Prof. Agbebaku was neither competent nor qualified to man the number one seat of AAU as she had not undergone the full process, rigours and discipline of academic development.
“Barring the circumstances surrounding her appointment, despite her non-qualification, it was expected that she should leave office at the expiration of six months, if her appointment was not made substantive, in line with laid down rules.
“The zenith and pinnacle of academic research with the confine of pupillage and supervision is the Doctor of Philosophy Degree, which is necessity if an individual might be fully grounded to cope with the dynamics and discipline of the academic.
“Whereas the professorial seat might be awarded for a plethora of reasons that do not fit with the prior assertion, in the case of Prof. (Mrs.) Agbebaku’s leadership of AAU, the cart has been put before the horse, little wonder no progress is feasible,” NANS opined.
#EndSARS Protest: Sanwo-Olu Orders Closure Of Schools In Lagos
The Lagos State Government led by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has ordered the closure of public and private schools indefinitely in the state.
The closure of schools in Lagos was announced in a press statement on Monday by the state’s Head of Public Affairs, Ministry of Education, Kayode Abayomi.
The statement which was titled, ‘Lagos directs students to stay at home’, quoted Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo, the Commissioner for Education, as saying that the schools were shut down over “tension generated by the anti-SARS protests.”
This is coming at a time #EndSARS protests against police brutality and bad governance by Nigerian youths grounded academic activities in some schools in the state on Monday.
“A new date of resumption for all classes will be announced as soon as possible.”
NECO Shifts Exam Over #EndSARS Protest
The National Examination Council, NECO, has announced the rescheduled of one of the practical examinations supposed to hold in October till the next month.
This was contained in a statement made available to newsmen on Sunday, October 18, by the Head, Information and Public Relations Division for the Nigerian exam body, Mr. Azeez Sani.
He announced that the Paper I Computer Studies Practicals examination which was supposed to be taken on Monday, October 19 is now delayed till November 16, 2020.
Sani revealed that the postponement is a result of the ongoing #EndSARS protests across the country, particularly the blockage of movement of transport at the entrance gate into Benin City, the Edo state capital.
He noted further that the truck conveying NECO examination materials had left its take-off point two days earlier to deliver to some states but has been held up in the ‘blockage.
FG, ASUU Meeting Over IPPIS, UTAS End In Deadlock
The meeting between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday ended in a deadlock.
Although some agreements were reached at the meeting, the meeting is set to reconvene on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, by 3.00 pm after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting for ASUU to report back on the decision of its NEC.
In a bid to end the strike, the federal government agreed to release N30billion for payment of arrears of earned academic allowance to the university lecturers.
The communiqué issued at the end of the meeting revealed that the release of N20 billion funds for revitalisation of public universities will be payable by the end of January 2021.
On the issue of Earned Academic Allowances(EAA), which had accumulated to N40 billion since November 2019, the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) made a commitment to release N30 billion on or before November 6, 2020.
He said the remaining N10 billion would be spread equally over the two tranches to be paid in May 2021 and February 2022, respectively.
The communiqué also revealed that ASUU agreed to take the offer to its members for consideration and revert by Wednesday, October 21, 2020.
The issue of the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) almost stalled the meeting as the federal government asked that IPPIS be allowed to operate in the interim until the test run on UTAS is concluded.
But ASUU insisted on payment of outstanding salaries on the old GIFMIS platform before full implementation of UTAS.
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