The University of Nigeria’s recent purchase of a prime property in Lagos for the construction of a new liaison office and business facilities said to be capable of generating over N2 billion annually, has sparked a sharp disagreement between the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Bartho Okolo and the Joint Action Committee on Trade Unions in the institution.
The Vice Chancellor had during a press briefing to announce the 53rd Founders’ Day Celebration and Golden Jubilee of the first graduates of the university held from October 2nd to 7th, 2013, told journalists that fund mobilization was a critical aspect of higher education administration. He added: “A prime property for the construction of a new liaison office and business facilities capable of generating over N2 billion annually for the university was purchased in Lagos.” But he did not disclose the real cost of, or more details about the said property.
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Okolo, who also spoke on how his administration has managed grants from in and outside the country, said through the many partnerships which “we established with universities overseas, TETFUND grant, the Fullbright scholarship, the Commonwealth scholarship and many other grant outlets including internally generated resources, we are able to create opportunities for these young academics to get exposed to international best practices in teaching, research and administration.”
However, the Chairman, UNN chapter of the Joint Action Committee on Trade Unions, Comrade Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Abada, who, alongside other top officials of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and Non Academic Staff Union of Universities and Inter University Centres (NASU) in the school, addressed journalists in Enugu today, accused the VC of being economical with the truth on certain happenings on the institution.
“Most of the things he said are full of lies. Most of the things he said he is doing, we have not seen any. It is only him that has his method of controlling the funds of the university. We are not aware of such investment as he claimed. The only thing we know is that he made attempt to sell the UNN property in Lagos which the Alumni strongly resisted,” Abada told reporters.
Dr. Abada quickly called for a constitution of a panel of enquiry on the management of TET Fund, Step B Project, Maritime and related grants to determine how the funds are being spent. He also called for an urgent probe of the management of the over N6 billion intervention fund approved by the federal government.
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