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Bauchi: University promotes 26 staff to professorial status

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The Governing Council of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) in Bauchi state, has confirmed the promotions of 26 academic staff to the ranks of professors and Associate professors.

This is contained in a statement by Mr. Kabiru Aminu, Head, Information and Public Relations of the university, in Bauchi on Friday.

According to him, letters of promotion which were signed by the Acting Registrar and Secretary to the Council of the university, Hajiya Aisha Idris, had been issued to the affected staff on Wednesday.

He explained that the promotions were approved following the receipt of ‘positive external assessments’ on each of the affected staff.

“Out of the 26 promoted staff, 14 are Professors while 12 are Readers (Associate Professors).

“While congratulating the newly promoted staff, Council and Management of the University expects them to continue to contribute positively to the development of the University.

“They are also expected to continue to give purposeful leadership to their junior colleagues,” said the university spokesperson.

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Education

ASUU, ATBU bicker over violation of VC appointment process

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Rauf Oyewole, Bauchi

The Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU), Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) Branch, Bauchi has faulted the University management for violating the varsity’s law guiding the appointment of a new vice chancellor and “illegally” allowing some principal officers stay in office on acting capacity beyond six months.

The ASUU-ATBU Chairperson, Dr. Ibrahim Inuwa, while speaking during a press conference at the Union’s Secretariat on Monday said that the Acting Registrar who is the custodian of the University law has engaged in “illegality” by advertising the position of VC while he (registrar) is illegally occupying office.

He said, “The advertisement of the vacancy for the post of Vice Chancellor in ATBU Bauchi (Internal and External Advertisement) published on Sunday January 13th, 2024 has got tongues wagging within and outside the University Community due to the absence of the University Council. The Union rejects this illegality because it runs counter to any relevant law governing the University.

“The Union is worried with the misapplication of the provisions of the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1993 as amended. The provisions of the Act never vested the powers of the advertisement of vacancy for the post of Vice Chancellor with the Hon. Minister of Education nor with the Registrar of the University.”

According to Inuwa, “There are no circumstances whatsoever in neither the spirit nor the letters of all the University Laws where anybody else rather than the Council, is given the powers to appoint a substantive Vice Chancellor. However, in an abnormal situation, the Law allows the University Senate to appoint an acting Vice Chancellor to hold the office for a maximum period of six months. This position is clearly spelt out in Chapter 16 Subsection A (b) xi-xii of the ATBU Conditions of Service.”

He said that ASUU ATBU found the move disturbing and unbecoming of the Management of the University using the absence of the Council to “perpetuate illegality even in the face of unambiguous provisions of the Laws.”

“This attitude of abusing the University Laws by the University Management has gradually become a norm. For example, the University Management in disregard to all extant Laws and the University Council’s directives that all Principal Officers’ who are in acting capacity should not exceed six months in that capacity and should be replaced by the next most senior officer in the unit if the vacancy is not yet properly filled.

“Nonetheless, the University Management violated this directive by allowing the current acting Registrar and other officers to be holding office for more than one year and counting. The Registrar, who is the supposed Custodian of the University Laws is unfortunately accommodating illegality,” he said.

The Union called on the Minister of Education and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who are the supervisory Minister and the Visitor to the University respectively to earnestly and accordingly use their noble offices to protect what remains of the sanctity of Public Universities in Nigeria by immediately halting the illegally started process of appointment of a Vice Chancellor for the University and ensure that Governing Councils of Universities are restored immediately to ensure that the Universities run according to the Laws of the land.

Meanwhile, the Public Relations Officer of the University, Zailani Bappa dismissed the lecturers’ claim that the management violated the laws. He said that the management has been following due process by advertising vacant positions.

He said that the law allows the management to advertise the post of the VC in the absence of the Varsity Council.

“We have not violated any law. On other principal officers, we have advertised them to. Also, the law also allows that acting capacity can be renewed after expiration of six months. So, I don’t know what the ASUU mean by what they have said.”

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JAMB, Police issue warning against fake websites for 2024 UTME candidates

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By Sodiq Adelakun

In a joint effort to safeguard the integrity of the 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and the police have issued a stern warning to candidates, cautioning them against engaging with fake websites.

During a joint news conference held in Abuja on Saturday, representatives from both JAMB and the police emphasized the prevalence of fraudulent websites designed to deceive unsuspecting candidates.

The Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, highlighted the existence of numerous fake platforms created by unscrupulous individuals with the sole aim of misleading hopeful candidates.

As the countdown to the UTME continues, authorities urge candidates to exercise vigilance and verify the authenticity of websites offering registration services or exam-related information. With the stakes high for thousands of aspiring students, the collaboration between JAMB and law is seen as a welcome development.

He called on candidates to be wary of their tactics, stressing that the fake web sites were designed to deceive innocent candidates into providing personal details such as registration numbers, email addresses, and phone numbers.

“Both JAMB and the Nigeria Police Force condemn these fraudulent activities and hereby reiterate the readiness to safeguard the interests of candidates and maintain the integrity of the examination process.

“We urge parents, guardians, and all stakeholders to ensure that candidates print their UTME Notification Slips only from the Board’s approved website: www.jamb.gov.ng,” he said.

Adejobi pointed out that the force was familiar with the tactics employed by fraudsters, especially during the annual assessment and admission exercises.

He, therefore, said that both organisations were actively sensitising candidates and the public about these deceptive practices.

“Any candidate who visits these fake sites will definitely have unreliable information and thereby miss out on the forthcoming exams.

“Any website other than www.jamb.gov.ng offering UTME slip printing services is fake and designed to defraud candidates,” he said.

On his part, the JAMB spokesperson, Dr Fabian Benjamin, assured of the Board’s commitment to continue playing its role.

He, therefore, urged candidates to ignore any unsolicited messages noting that they were from elements who aim at defrauding candidates.

Recall that the 2024 UTME is scheduled to commence on Friday, April 19, and end on April 29.

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TETFund commits to enhancing NOUN study centres with high-speed fibre optics — NOUN VC

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The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) will upgrade all the study centres of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) with fibre optics to transmit information and data with the speed of light.

The Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Olufemi Peters, said this during a pre-convocation news conference on Monday, ahead of its 13th convocation slated for April 13, in Abuja.

Fibre optics, or optical fibre, refers to the technology that transmits information as light pulses along a glass or plastic fibre.

Mr Peters said the rate of technology advancement at NOUN attracted the offer from TETFund.

“Right now, our academics all over the faculties and departments have video components to assist our students and we deploy this with ease.

“And because of the manner we deploy technology, TETFund has offered to assist us with fibre optics in all our study centres across the country.

“It is a testimony to where we are in terms of technology,” Mr Peters said.

He said that a lot of Nigerians were yet to understand how the university operates in spite of its years of existence in the country.

Mr Peters noted that the institution had brought development to many towns and villages where the university had its study centres.

“The forthcoming convocation would be an opportunity to showcase what the institution can do with technology,” he said.

Mr Peters said that 22,175 students in various disciplines across the country would be graduating on April 13.

He said the graduating students would join the convocation via technology from its 120 study centres across the country.

“Of this number, 15,768 are undergraduate degrees, while 6,407 are for postgraduate degrees, with the Faculty of Social Sciences producing the highest number of graduates.

“Twenty-two of these students are first class, 2,362 are PGD graduates, while 41 are Masters and six are leaving the institution as PHD holders.

“This is an indication that the school is gradually moving towards establishing a more robust postgraduate school,” he said.

Mr Peters said the interesting part of the convocation would be the conferment of an investiture on the University’s new Chancellor, His Royal Majesty, Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, with a Doctorate Degree, and his installation as the Chancellor.

He said that the convocation lecture would be delivered by the Vice Chancellor of the Open University of Tanzania, Prof. Elifas Bisanda, with the topic: “Is Western education still relevant for Africa.”

The NOUN VC said the lecture would direct Nigeria and Africa in general to areas which would be useful to citizens.

He added that the lecture would be followed by the conferment of honorary Doctorate Degrees on Dr Innocent Chukwuma, the chief executive officer of Innoson Motors, and Hafsatu Abdulwaheed, the first female novelist in northern Nigeria and an eminent activist.

“Dr Chukwuma is a well-known Nigerian entrepreneur and founder of Innoson Motors, and his creativity and commitment to local content, is one of the reasons the university considered it fit to honour him.

“The second person, Hajia Hafsatu, has dedicated her works to promoting education, particularly for girls, and she believes in the transformative power of literacy to uplift communities and break the circle of poverty.

“These two awardees reflect the core values of NOUN which is entrepreneur ingenuity and knowledge-based content creativity,” Mr Peters said.

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