The Vice Chancellor of the University of Agriculture, Umudike, Prof. Maduebibisi Iwe, says the institution has applied for N10 billion take off grant from the Federal Government.
Iwe said this on Friday in Umuahia at a press conference organised to mark his 100 days in office.
He said the application was forwarded to the Federal Government through the Presidential Visitation Panel (PVP) during its recent visit to the institution.
He said the university had not received take-off grant since it was established in 1993.
He said, “We are still asking for take-off grant because we have not traced any document showing that the university got a take off-grant.
“The take-off grant shouldn’t have been less than N1 billion as at 1993/1994.”
He said the management, in its presentation to the visitation panel jacked it up to N10 billion.
He also spoke on the fate of some staff members of the university, whose appointments were “suspended” in 2017 by the administration of late Prof. Francis Otunta.
He said that those whose appointment letters read “offer of appointment” were reinstated, while those on one-year temporary appointments were suspended, after they elapsed.
Iwe further said that the university did not demote any professor during the same period, as reported in a section of the media.
He said the university only did “proper placement” of some academic staff members, in line with a directive of the governing council of the university.
He said the council also investigated alleged irregularities in employment and promotions during the administration of Prof. Hilary Edeoga.
Speaking on some of his achievements, he said he realised his promise to ensure that the university senate conducted its businesses via online and soft copy processes.
Iwe also said the transcripts of graduates up to 2010 were now ready for use through online and that the remaining 2000 transcripts would soon be ready for upload on the platform.
He said his administration had also resolved some issues that impeded the completion of some building projects in the institution, through peaceful negotiations with the contractors.
He hoped that work would soon resume on the projects, which included the College of Agricultural Economics, Rural Sociology and Extension, College of Physical and Applied Sciences, amongst others.
The vice chancellor also said his administration had initiated an open door policy in its relations with students and that efforts were ongoing to provide the necessary infrastructure for effective teaching and learning.
He also said the issues of workers’ welfare were being addressed, adding that the management had started paying the two years arrears of responsibility allowances to deserving workers.
He said that his administration also resolved a five-year dispute with Aeon Consult Ltd, which impounded 45 vehicles purchased for shuttle services by the university.
He expressed joy that the vehicles had been handed over to the university and presently undergoing refurbishment.
The VC also said he made history on June 8, when the university signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) after two years of “sustained impasse”.
He said “Today, the university’s state-of-the art weather station built and equipped by NiMet is fully functional.”
He said the agency also gave its commitment to equip the university’s laboratory, “possibly at no cost to the university”, in addition to staff training and donation of resource materials.
Iwe said that the university’s Agric Graduate Loan Scheme, which was recently inaugurated by his administration, had given between N120,000 and N400,000 to the first set of beneficiaries.
He said the initiative was in line with his commitment to produce self-sufficient farmers.
He said the loan was tied to fish production, poultry farming, cassava production, pig farming, egg sales, palm oil marketing and agric input sales.
He said his administration also purchased a N2 million state-of-the-art farm equipment as part of the process to commence largescale farming in the university.
Strike: We’re Waiting For Govt’s Reply To Our Presentation — ASUU
According to the union, calling off the strike soon rests squarely on government responding to its presentation made through a committee set up by the government to negotiate with it.
Checks by newsmen, last Friday, showed that the national leadership of ASUU had made its presentation to the Prof. Nimi Briggs-led committee set up to renegotiate the 2009 agreement signed by the two sides.
Speaking in a telephone chat with The Tide Newspaper, National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said his union had done its best in the circumstance.
“We have made our presentation to the committee and there is nothing more to add,” Osodeke said.
On when the feedback was expected from government, he said: “They promised to get back to us within a short time.”
Though he did not say anything about what the union’s presentation contained, it was gathered that the union could give the government more time to meet some demands that had financial implications.
When contacted, Briggs said his committee had met with ASUU and had done its assignment.
“We have met and ASUU have made their presentation. Some people sent me on an errand and I have to report to them. The committee is not the final authority on this matter. We are not the ones to determine what will be done,” he stated.
It would be recalled that ASUU went on a four-week warning strike on February 14 this year and had extended the strike twice, first, by eight weeks and second, by 12 weeks.
Lagos Solicit Stronger Partnership For Equitable Education
The Governor who stated that the ultimate aim of government is to ensure all students in Lagos State receive quality education in a conducive environment confirmed that his administration paid 1.1billion for WAEC students in 2022 as it continue to ensure yearly increment in budgetary allocation for the sector.
The Governor who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat at the Y2022 Equal Summit held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island stated that the past three years has witnessed tremendous improvement in the overall value chain of the education ecosystem.
His words, “Our model of investment is informed by the desire to entrench 21st century technology into the sector. This huge investment will ultimately result in significant improvement in learning outcomes’’.
Expressing the desire of the state government in taking the education sector into an enviable height, Sanwo-Olu said the education summit is an opportunity to present the education score card and inform Stakeholders of the government’s future plans and needs of the industry.
He said the initiative organised by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment will continue to open up opportunities for public private partnership interventions and mutually beneficial investments.
According to him: “Our administration also seeks to recognise and appreciate the tremendous contribution and donations of various private partners who supported the State Government’s Education Transformation Plan, most especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown of schools.
Group Gives WAEC Scholarships To 35 Indigent Students In Imo
The award is the second edition following the maiden project in 2021.
Presenting the scholarships in Owerri, the Interim National President of the organisation, Dr Nina Nwulu, urged the beneficiaries to show determination in succeeding in life.
“Under no circumstance should you joke with your education or indulge in drugs.
“The mentality that education is a scam should be jettisoned because in Nigeria, your certificate counts,” she said.
Nwulu, who described education as the “hallmark to every development,” urged the Federal Government to do the needful in resolving its impasse with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
“The issue is not about salary but about the government putting in place all the infrastructure that would make reading and learning conducive for students.
“We want our students to be exposed to every facility needed to learn properly; the lecturers are equally going through hell in terms of their packages.
“If politicians taught by teachers can be comfortable, why not the teachers,” Nwulu, a senior lecturer at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), asked.
The Coordinator of the organisation, Mr Jasper Opara, said the body aimed to assist the beneficiaries fulfill their academic pursuit.
According to him, if the students miss it at this stage of their major examination, they can lose it from there.
Opara, who explained that 25 students were sponsored in 2021, expressed delight that most of them performed excellently in the WAEC examinations.
He explained that the organisation, with different chapters in seven states and some countries, was made up of people from different tribes, who grew up and schooled in Owerri.
Also, the Secretary of the organisation, Mrs Olaedo Ike-Godson, said the body was passionate about helping government and doing charitable work, literacy, health programs, economic empowerment and sanitation.
One of the beneficiaries, Franklin Igwe from Emmanuel College, commended the organisation for the gesture.
“It will spur me to focus more on education so that when I grow up, I will be able to sponsor those around me,” another beneficiary, Miss Precious Onyemuche, said. (NAN)
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