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University of Abuja certificate chaos


University of Abuja Gate

Sir: I accompanied a friend to the University of Abuja to collect his certificate as the university advertised in several newspapers inviting graduands from 1995-2008 to come and collect their certificates. The invitation was to all graduands, both graduate and post graduate degrees. They were to assemble at one venue: the conference room of the Senate Building from the 23rd of April, 2018 to the 30th of June 2018, a period of two months or pay a surcharge if the certificates were not collected within that period. This raised the reasonable presumption that the certificates were ready for collection and the university was itching to get rid of them.

However, any reasonable person could have foretold that inviting all graduands from 1995-2008 irrespective of faculty or degree level at the same period was a recipe for chaos, and chaotic it was. On arrival, I and my friend were directed to make payments that were not stated in the advertisement and also asked to fill an application form, then we were directed not to the conference room but to a small office on the second floor of the building. Of course outside the office was a huge rowdy crowd; there was no queue because the staff handling certificate issuance had decided upon the illogical activity of calling out the names of those whose certificates were ready. This implies that despite inviting people to come collect their certificates some were still not ready.

It doesn’t take a Ph.d in public or business administration to know that this sort of activity is done in staggered batches at different times so that everyone does not congregate at one place at the same time. For instance, first degree graduands should be separated from post graduate graduands. Also graduands should be separated by graduation dates and faculties. How, can graduands of all faculties (except Law graduands who received their certificates upon graduation in order to be eligible for admission to the Nigerian Law School) be told to converge at the same small venue within the same period of time without chaos ensuing. There were frayed nerves leading to altercations with staff who behaved as if the graduands came suddenly to disturb them. The incompetence on display was nigh and annoying as the university staff were unable to handle the chaos they had caused.

Indeed some questions are begging for answers: What informed the hurried invitation to collect certificates? Why not wait till a graduand comes to request for his or her certificate? Better still, why not issue a certificate at least a year after graduation? I gathered that some people had been coming for several years to ask for their certificates with no success or with errors on the certificates.

My advice is that all the staff involved in the certificate issuance process should be redeployed to stations more befitting to their mental capacity. My friend hasn’t still collected his certificate because it is not yet ready. Can you believe that?
John Obi wrote from Abuja.

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