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TETFund spends N435m on Okpara varsity staff members

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Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), between 2018 and 2019 sponsored 52 staff of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike, Abia State, to development conferences and workshops.

Out of the 52 academicians, 15 for Ph.D. training programmes both within and outside Nigeria, and another 25 for University-based research projects worth over N436.149million.

The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Francis Otunta, disclosed this while speaking on students and staff welfare, training, development and level of TETFund support to MOUAU.

He said the culture of annual appraisal of staff is conducted and sustained to avoid issues of backlog, adding that this has ensured that staff due for promotion are not denied it, even as the system is used to discourage staff truancy and complacency.

He, however, did not deny that there was staff salary shortfall in the past, saying: “We had a problem of fractional salary payment to staff last year but having addressed it in year 2018 budget preparation, staff are now not only taking their 100% salary per month but had all their outstanding salary shortfalls fully cleared as at January 2019.”

On students welfare, he said that steps are on to protect and provide them a holistic ambience to enable them thrive in their academic pursuit, and cited the example of setting up system where most of the year one and two courses are graded by computer such that lecturers and students no longer have much physical contact, especially after examinations.

According to Otunta, the issues of ‘sorting’ have thus been tackled to a very large extent, including sex-for-grade or money-for-grade practices.

The university held its 9th convocation ceremony recently where out of the 7,028 graduates comprising 6,214 first degrees, 141 postgraduate diplomas, 505 masters and 142 doctorates, 100 obtained first class honours, 1,871 second class honours upper division, 2,979 second class lower division, 1,264 third class hours, and 93 pass.


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