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National Association Of Nigerian Students Pass Vote Of Confidence On UNN VC

By Ibrahim Kabiru Dallah

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has passed a vote of confidence on the Vice- Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Bartho Okolo, based on the number of students’-friendly projects his administration has executed in the past four years.

NANS national President, comrade Yinka Gbadebo, Wednesday, led other executive members of the Association on a fact-finding tour to ascertain the true situation of things regarding the crisis rocking the University in recent time.

Some staff of the University under the umbrella of Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the university staff union, had on December 17, 2013, started a protest demanding for the removal of the Institution’s Vice-Chancellor, after the Federal Government suspended the Pro-Chancellor of the University, Dr Emeka Enejere.

Gbadebo said the visit was prompted by a call he got from an anonymous person urging him to mobilize students to join the campaign to remove Prof Okolo based on spurious and unfounded allegation of underperformance and corruption.

After inspecting some projects executed by the Ololo-led administration in Enugu and Nsukka campuses of the Institution, Comrade Gbadebo declared the support of NANS to the Vice Chancellor, stating that those calling for Okolo’s removal were seeking their personal interests and not the interests of the students.

“having gone round the Enugu and Nsukka campuses of the University of Nigeria, I can boldly say, by the powers conferred on me, that based on what we have seen here today, on behalf of over 40 million Nigerian students that I lead, I am passing a vote of confidence on the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Prof. Bartho Okolo, he said”

Further, the students’ President said that what he had seen in UNN had convinced him that the problem in the University was “based on egocentric interest of few people, who perceived that their interests are not encapsulated in the visionary administration of Prof Okolo”.

He noted that NANS was not interested in joining the political tussle in the University, but was concerned on policies and projects that would better the lot of students and emancipate them from the shackles of dilapidation.

“our position today is based on the fact that we have seen projects that have direct bearing on the lives and aspiration of students of UNN, that is my concern”, he declared.

Some of the projects inspected by NANS included, new modern students-complex (housing students’ cafeteria, SUG offices, Student Affairs Department, alumni relations unit, among others), classrooms fitted with modern seats and smarts boards, laboratories fitted with modern equipments and students’ hostels,

However, NANS leadership pleaded with the Vice-Chancellor to lift the ban on students’ unionism in the Institution, stating that time and events that led to the proscription of the union had changed.

Responding, the Vice-Chancellor thanked NANS leadership for their wisdom in coming to verify the true situation of things in the University. He said their level of maturity and understanding showed that the future of Nigeria was bright.

Prof Okolo said that the physical projects inspected by NANS were a fraction of the achievement of his administration. According to him, one of the priorities of his administration was to expose staff and students of the University to international best practices in education through forging collaborations with reputable institutions across the world.

He said his administration had improved the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the institution by blocking all loopholes where the university’s fund was siphoned.

“Most of the projects you have seen today were executed with our IGR, the PG complex under construction is funded from the money generated from the postgraduate school alone.” he said.

The Vice-Chancellor added that his administration had boldly confronted and stopped various forms of administrative and academic malpractices that existed in the university.

“They used to sell admissions here, students used to graduate without result, they will tell them that they are working results and some people will be taking money from students, students used to pay money to pass. But we have confronted and stopped all of those criminal activities.

“Today our students graduate with their certificates because at the end of every semester, we mandate everybody to submit his or her results within three weeks or we stop the person’s salary. These things were what previous administrations were afraid to do for the fear of being killed. Anywhere there is a positive change, you should expect some level of resistance”, he said.

Further, the Vice-Chancellor explained that his administration had already taken steps to conduct elections into Students Union Government; he assured NANS that the union will be inaugurated by the middle of March 2014.

One Comment

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