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NAAT seeks integrity test for varsity vice chancellors before appointment  

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Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi

Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi

The National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has urged the Federal Government to conduct integrity tests for Vice Chancellors of universities before they are appointed.
 
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the Association’s 31st National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held at the Federal University of Agriculture Makurdi, Benue State.
 
The association also stressed its earlier call on the Federal Government to beam its anti-corruption searchlight in the ivory towers with the aim of reducing frauds in the academic circle to barest minimum.
 
The communiqué, which was signed by the National President of the Association, Sani Suleiman General Secretary, Iyoyo, Hamilton read in part: “NAAT re-echoes its earlier call that Government should beam its search light on the financial activities of the Nigerian Universities so as to tackle corruption head-long in the system. In the same vein, NAAT advises that integrity test should be carried out before the appointment of Vice-Chancellors. This advice has become imperative in the light of recent unsavoury developments in the university system.”
 
NAAT also urged the National Assembly to ensure early passage of the proposed 2017 Appropriation Bill to speed up the implementation process.It said: “NAAT observes that our budget projections are always made to encourage and sustain capital flight. So much money is voted for capital projects, which at the end are handled by big multinational companies, which domicile the funds outside Nigeria. This deprives the local economy of sufficient funds to sustain the domestic economic growth. NAAT frowns at this arrangement because we need to grow our national economy to be able to train our Engineers, Technologists and other Professionals. Government should therefore put this factor into consideration when awarding contracts.”
 
The communiqué frowned at the inadequate budgetary allocation of N50 billion to education sector in the proposed 2017 Appropriation Bill, which is less than 10 per cent of the total budget and recommends improved allocation to education as a panacea to recovery from the current economic recession.
 
The Association declared that the non-implementation of 2009 agreement could snowball into another round of industrial action if not speedily implemented in the New Year.
 
It added: “NAAT observed with dismay the reluctance of Government to implement the 2009 Agreements they freely entered into with the Unions, and strongly urges the Government to fully implement the Agreements to avert industrial disharmony.”
 
In the same vein, it charged the Federal Government to beef-up efforts to tackle kidnapping, bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers, pre- and post-election violence as recently experienced in some parts of the country.
 
The Association flayed some state governments for owing several months of workers salaries and allowances, despite the bailout funds.It urged the Federal Government to monitor and ensure compliance to the conditions attached to the recently release funds for the payment of workers’ salaries.
 
NAAT commends FGN on the release of the second tranche of bailout fund to state governments for the payment of outstanding salaries and allowances. The Association lauded the Federal Government’s Youth Initiative for Sustainable Agriculture (YISA) Programme as one of the ways to tackle unemployment and food insecurity.
 


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NAATSani Suleiman

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