Otuoke varsity trade unions, pro-chancellor on war path
Scholar tasks FG on quality education
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the trade unions of the Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, and the institution’s Pro-Chancelor, Gbemisola Saraki, are set for a show down as the unions accused her of running the school like her personal estate.
After its meeting yesterday, the JAC gave the governing council a 21-day ultimatum, with effect from June 23, 2017 to address all the issues raised in the communiqué to avoid a total showdown.
Saraki who doubles as the Pro-Chancelor and Chairman of the Governing Council, drew the ire of the unions for allegedly running the institution unilaterally and without recourse to due process.
The unions comprised the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU); the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU); the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU).
They carpeted Saraki for disallowing the Committee on Staff Verification to submit its report.The committee, which was saddled with the mandate of reviewing staff welfare, promotions, salary disparity, tax and pensions remittances, statutory allowances and confirmation of appointments, among others, had reportedly submitted its report to the Governing Council.
But instead of Saraki to work on the committee report, she disregarded it and unilaterally constituted another Ad-Hoc Committee to look into staff welfare and complaints, as well as probe the protest of May 23, 2017, the unions alleged.
In a communiqué issued at the weekend after their emergency meeting at the ASUU Secretariat Complex, the JAC rejected the ad-hoc committee, insisting on the report of the first committee.
The communiqué signed by chairmen of the unions namely: Joseph Omoro (ASUU); Kalizibe Joseph (SSANU); Ama Uduma (NAAT) and Bestman Egba (NASU), also chided the Pro-Chancellor for holding council meetings in Abuja instead of Otuoke.
Meanwhile, the Principal of Grange School, Lagos, Graham Stothard has called on the Federal Government to make education a first priority with a view to achieving quality education in the country.He made the remark at the passing out of the school’s Class of 2017 in Ikeja.
He charged the Minister of Education as well as commissioners of education across the country to give education the attention it deserves, adding that Nigeria was still very far behind in terms of quality education.Stothard said poor infrastructure, lack of quality teachers, low funding of education, poverty and wealth the syndrome accounted for the poor state of education in the country.
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