The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), Rising from its National Executive Council meeting, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to probe universities, which it claims stinks of corruption. The union asked President Muhammadu Buhari to beam his anti-corruption searchlight on vice chancellors and governing councils of universities.
In a communique by the National President, Comrade Samson Ugokwe, and National Public Relations Officer Salaam Abdussobur, the union said: “NEC noted various allegations against pro-chancellors, vice-chancellors and councils, involved in fraudulent actions, illegal appointments, shady contracts, diversion of funds, and other corrupt practices, and agreed that the level of rot and sleaze in our university system needs to be checked, as our ivory towers are now havens of corruption run by greedy, inept, incompetent and rapacious administrators.
“The minister of Education, must put corruption in the front-burner of his engagements, investigate all reports brought to his attention and not spare any indicted university official.
“To this end, SSANU requests the Visitor(s) to our universities to constitute Visitation Panels to review affairs of these universities, and where Visitation Panels have presented reports, come up with a White-Paper for implementation.”
On the fight against terrorism and insurgency, the union acknowledged the success of the Army against Boko Haram terrorists in the Northeast, but however, expressed worry about the increasing rates of different forms of insurgency and criminality.
It denounced the Fulani herdsmen and militants, who foist a reign of terror on hapless citizens, adding that the abduction of the oba of Iba in Lagos and the desecration of the traditional stool by the perpetrators, are pointers to how daring criminals have become.
The union said this was unacceptable and calls on governments to rise up with a view to stamping out this new dimension of criminality.
On non payment of salaries by states, the union observed that while some states claim to be finding it difficult to fund existing state universities and pay salaries, they were establishing new ones, and frowned at what it described as “the hypocrisy of the governors.”
They condemned the attitude of governors owing university staff for three months or even going up to a year, as in Niger Delta University; Imo State University; Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa; Adamawa State University, Mubi; Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomoso; and Ekiti State University.
“The delay in payment of salaries to workers is not only anti-labour but criminal, especially when it appears the money for salaries were allocated but seem to have been diverted to other activities.
“NEC enjoins the governors to release outstanding subventions owed universities, and pay salaries of university workers. NEC also noted that some federal universities are paid percentages of the total allocations on personnel costs.
“These shortfalls in subventions have led to pay-cuts. NEC in session urges the Federal Government to address shortfalls in subventions and payoutstanding arrears of Earned Allowances arising from the haphazard implementation of the 2009 SSANU/FGN Agreement in the interest of industrial peace in the universities.”
The union decried the dilapidated state of roads and other social infrastructure, saying “it is shameful that a country, which has realised billions of dollars in crude oil sales for years, cannot maintain its roads; no thanks to endemic corruption.
“NEC appeals to the Federal Government to declare an emergencyon roads to save Nigerians from avoidable loss of lives through accidents and other mishaps.”
Okegbemi Olusoji Festus is an Editor/Creative writer at campustori.com, A digital media Executive and a known Social Media Enthusiast.