The attention of the University of Ilorin has been drawn to the purported submission of a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. AbdulGaniyu Ambali (OON), and his predecessor, who is the current Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Is-haq Oloyede (OFR), by some elements masquerading as officers of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
We would have just left the anti-graft agency to handle the petition as it deems appropriate without saying a word on it but for the fact that the petitioners decided to make a media fun-fair of the submission of a largely empty document, whose contents were merely rehashed to make it look real. Since they have taken to the path of media trial even before the EFCC received the petition, we are left with no other option than to go this way.
There is nothing new in the so-called allegations contained in the petition, especially the one on pension fund, which has become so familiar in the social media that it is now sounding like a broken record!
At the University of Ilorin, we don’t have any skeleton in our cupboard. To us, these fellows are enemies of progress who are aghast at the pace of progress and continual giant strides being daily recorded by the University, where transparency, honesty, accountability and due process are the key elements of administration.
Specifically on pension deductions, what the administration of Prof. Oloyede did was what the law and ICPC directed all universities to do: that instead of the 7.5 per cent being hitherto deducted from the basic salary of workers, the deduction ought to have been from the gross emolument. It was that clarification that has since guided the University management’s action. And the deductions were regularly credited to the PFA accounts as and when due till the Government started long ago the deduction from source.
It is also fallacious to allege that the University management did not carry the unions along in all these. The truth is that management met with the unions on the new development and all parties agreed that the PFAs should be credited the full 7.5 per cent. It was the initial under-deduction that was spread for payment over a 24-month period. And this had since been concluded a couple of years ago.
These same fellows made the same allegations in August this year while shamefacedly kicking against the nationally acknowledged well-merited appointment of Prof. Oloyede as the Registrar of JAMB. And of course, no one took them seriously, as even President Muhammadu Buhari, who is well-known for his zero tolerance for corruption, is not unaware of the due diligence credentials of the successive administrations of the University of Ilorin. The totality of academic, administrative and fiscal excellence of the University is responsible for its magnetic appeal to many Nigerians.
On the charges for the students’ PC Tablets and other miscellaneous items, these are statutory charges for extra facilities provided for the academic comfort of our students to make teaching and learning very conducive for them.
It is on record that the University of Ilorin pioneered the one-student-one-iPad initiative in the country during the 2013/2014 academic session. And this policy has been steadily executed seamlessly since then. The vagaries of the national economy, which led to the fluctuation of the national currency against the dollar led to the marginal increase in the cost price in the current 2016/2017 academic session, as the PC Tablets are not produced in the country. And this is also responsible for the slight delay in distributing the equipment to the students. However, the University management already has a firm commitment from the supplier to deliver the remaining tranche of the PC Tablets early in the New Year, for onward distribution to the students concerned. So, there is really no issue here.
The N5, 000 per student charge for Bandwidth is realistic, as it is meant to make our students have unhindered access to internet facility anywhere on campus. So also are other charges that give our students an edge over their counterparts in other institutions of higher learning across the country.
Dispassionate watchers of events at the University of Ilorin, especially since the University began to gain national prominence and acclaim as a socially responsible, generally peaceful, academically excellent and qualitatively most sought-after citadel of learning in the country, are familiar with the antics of a few dissidents who are bent on taking us back to Egypt. These disgruntled elements do not understand why a University would have unbroken academic calendar for close to 20 years; they can’t live with the reality that a University can exist in Nigeria without cultism and other related social vices; they don’t understand why students don’t take to the streets unnecessarily here. Indeed, these enemies of progress cannot reconcile themselves with why a University would consistently receive national and international accolades!
Within the last one year, the activities of these disgruntled elements are targeted at disrupting our well-known uninterrupted academic calendar. These remnants of the notorious “49” have tried all the tricks in the book to infiltrate the students’ body and brainwash them to take unconstitutional action against the management. But phew, here they are, flat on their face, as our mature and forward-looking students, who are ever appreciative of the University management’s interest in their welfare, would not be sucked into their evil plans. This probably accounts for the resort to the long-knife tactics of crying wolf, where there is none, just to blackmail the progressive administration of the better by far University. But as usual, this latest one will not work!
It is pertinent to point out that what we are witnessing now is a mere expression of frustration by these fellows over their serial failures, and that is understandable. But their unconscionable attempt to destroy the good image, which the University has toiled so hard to build over the years, will continue to fail and their ploy to divert management’s attention from its set goal of building a world class citadel of learning will not work!
We welcome the submission of the petition and we are certain that the anti-graft agency will duly consign it to where it rightly belongs: the trash can!
Our only grouse against the petition is the claim by the petitioner that he is the Chairman of Unilorin ASUU. He is not! Dr. Kayode Afolayan is a mere impostor, a rascally fellow with the feet of clay, as far as Unilorin ASUU is concerned. He is an idling lone voice in the wilderness! A phantom union chairman without any following than a tiny band of outcasts among their colleagues.
Head, Corporate Affair, Unilorin