The management of Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Edo State, has sacked five staff of the state-owned institution, with 21 others undergoing investigation for various criminal offences.
The chairman, Special Intervention Team (SIT), Mr. Austin Osakue, who disclosed this in Benin while submitting the progress report of the SIT to Governor Godwin Obaseki, said the staff were dismissed by the disciplinary committee of the institution.
Osakue urged the state government to constitute a governing council and begin the process of hiring principal officers for the institution, saying the work done by the SIT will not be appreciated unless the institution reviews its enabling laws.
According to him, the AAU has keyed into the directive of the government with the commencement of the contributory pension scheme. The implementation started on August 1, 2023.
The SIT member said: “All staff of AAU that have seven years to leave are exempted from the scheme.
“Edo Health Insurance Scheme is fully operational and running, as all the premiums are paid directly to EdoHIS account, to ensure accountability, transparency and sustainability.
“Nine hundred and ninety-eight students have subscribed, with over N15 million, and 1,800 staff with over N31 million.
“The institution discovered over 30 cases of AAU students living abroad for not less than two years, writing examinations and graduating. The staff members and heads of departments involved have been handed over to DSS and ICPC for action.
“Over 95 per cent of AAU’s land mass is ungoverned, and the master plan tempered with. We appeal to you (Obaseki) to collaborate with the institution to restore the master plan.”
Responding, Governor Obaseki said his government is committed to restoring the lost glory of the institution while preparing the higher institution for EdoBEST students, who would be ready to gain admission into the university in about five to six years.
He said; “We need to clear this school, due to the educational reforms we have embarked on, as our EdoBEST students will be ready in about five to six years for the university, and cannot go into a university, whose standard is below where they are coming from.
“Few people have held the institution to ransom. We are ready to fight and break it. If you are a lecturer, and you have examined students, and have the results, and fail to present it, you should not expect a salary, because you have not completed your work, and if it is based on that you want to go on strike again, we are ready for you.
“It is a fight that is necessary to transform this institution for the students coming. All these reforms and sustainability must be anchored on the new reformed law, and we will be presenting the university’s new bill to Edo House of Assembly at the end of the month, for speedy passage.”
The governor also revealed that the search for members of AAU’s governing council would commence immediately.
He said: “We will not want to bring in people into the governing council, without the law in place. Edo House of Assembly members are here to be part of this event, to enable you to have background to this issue, because they will still come to meet you.
“Political interference has brought the school to the position it is today. We are saying it is time to change, because we cannot run a university this way, because of the students coming behind.
“We must make it a first-class university that we all will be proud of. It is only when you have good institutions that you are sure of development.”