Posted by News Express | 20 November 2020 | 678 times
As the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) resume yet another round of talks today, Friday November 20, the University of Port Harcourt Alumni Association says it is time for the federal government to take the bull by the horns and return students back to school in the overall interest of university education in the country.
In a statement in Abuja, the National President of the association, Chris Adokeme, Esq. urged the federal government to make concrete commitment to the specific demands of ASUU. He noted that ASUU has already shifted ground by reducing its initial demand for a lump sum payment of 220 billion Naira revitalization fund to 110 billion Naira, in recognition of the consequences of the post Covid 19 era.
He wondered why the government is insisting on the enrollment of university lecturers under the IPPIS scheme, when ASUU has already provided a viable alternative. He suggested that UTAS should be fine-tuned by government, if there are any gaps, instead of insisting on IPPIS.
He described as surprising, the statement credited to the accountant general of the federation, to the effect that IPPIS is the only platform recognised by government for the payment of emoluments of federal employees, and wondered whether CBN and federal workers in the oil industry are also captured under the scheme.
He expressed regret that despite the interventions of prominent and well meaning Nigerians, including the presiding officers of the National Assembly, the federal government remains adamant.
On the absence of a Governing Council for the University of Port Harcourt, Adokeme, a lawyer, says it is a gross violation of the statute of the university. He noted that by the clear and unambiguous provision of Section 2 of the Universities (miscellaneous provisions) Act, 2003, the Council ought to have been reconstituted immediately after the dissolution of the previous one. He therefore appealed to the Visitor to the university, to reconstitute the Council as a matter of urgency.
He commended the acting vice chancellor of the university, Prof. Stephen Okodudu for carrying along the various interest groups in the institution, a move he says, has stabilized the institution.
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