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Sanusi deplores incessant rift between government, ASUU

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The Chancellor of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Muhammadu Sanusi II, at the weekend described as worrisome the incessant rift between the Federal Government and members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on issues relating to development.

The Emir of Kano charged government on dialogue and involvement of stakeholders in decision-making to check the unsavoury development

He spoke during the institution’s 45th convocation and 49th Founder’s Day in Benin City, Edo State.

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Commending the tertiary institution for living up to its peers globally, Sanusi noted: “Apart from the occasional problems arising between government and universities’ unions, our academic calendar has remained stable.

“However, another worrisome development of late is the media’s war between the government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on issues bordering on physical development.”

He added: “If our universities are to be in a position to compete with others outside the shores of this country, the unions should be circumspect in taking the grievances to the media.

“Not too long ago, the media were awash with news of ASUU strike.”

The monarch called on the government to honour all agreements entered into with the unions to end the frequent distortions of the academic calendar.

On the appointment of a new vice chancellor for the higher institution, Sanusi lauded the council for the transparent selection and emergence of Prof. Lilian Salami as the 10th substantive chief executive.

He went on: “The vice-chancellor was selected clearly on merit. As an advocate of women rights and gender equality, I am extremely proud that our university has selected the best.

“Prof. Lilian Salami was selected to follow the great steps of Prof. Grace Alele Williams.”

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Prof. Salami, the second female vice-chancellor of the ivory tower, would officially assume office on December 2, 2019.

In his remarks, the outgoing vice-chancellor, Prof. Faraday Orumwense, while congratulating the graduates, conferred an honorary doctoral degree of law on Chief Richard Oma Ahonaruogho for his contribution to the profession and the society.

Meanwhile, the ASUU leadership has directed its members to disregard the circular from the office of the Accountant General of the Federation to enrol academic staff in the Integrated Payment and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) from today.

The union recalled that the same office had challenged it to develop a template that accommodates the peculiarities of its members and present the same to it.

ASUU, therefore, stated that its members should not submit themselves for enrolment into the “slave plan of the Accountant General of the Federation whose office stinks with corruption.”

Chairman of the University of Ibadan (UI) chapter of the body, Professor Deji Omole, said the leadership was in discussion with the Federal Government on helping it to develop a robust template.

According to him, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, as an academic, “understands these peculiarities and had benefitted immensely from the peculiarities.”

He ordered that no ASUU member should appear before the Accountant General of the Federation team until further directive.

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