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UNILAG Pro-Chancellor, Wale Babalakin Resigns

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The pro-chancellor of the University of Lagos, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN), has resigned.

Babalakin conveyed news of his resignation in a letter dated September 15, 2020 and addressed to the minister of education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.

The pro-chancellor who sent in his resignation after he was suspended by the federal government, said his decision was based on many “vested interests” asides other issues he raised.

The resignation letter read; 

“I would like to thank the President of the Federal of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for giving me the opportunity to serve as the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (the “University”) from May 2017 till date.

“I am also grateful that I was considered fit to be the Chairman of the Federal Government Negotiation Team on the Agreement reached with university unions in 2009, from 6th January 2017 till date. I equally want to thank you sir, for your role in recommending me to the President.

“Recent events have made my position in these two offices untenable.

“I led the Governing Council of the University to remove the Vice-Chancellor of the University from office for amongst other reasons: (a)Corruption and financial recklessness; (b)Forgery; (c) Complicity in the collapse of the University library and planned cover up; (d) Deliberate policy of wrongfully concealing information; ( e) Depriving the Faculties in the University of funds; (f)Concealing and distorting finances of the Internally Generating Units of the University; (g)Undermining the academic process and seeking to appoint a Professor by fiat; (h) Siphoning of the University’s funds through dubious contract awards; (i)Undermining the office of the Registrar; (j) Failure to follow due process in organizing the University’s convocation ceremony; and (k)Sponsoring or acquiescing in the unconstitutional actions of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Lagos chapter.

“Sir, it is noteworthy that all the Federal Government Representatives who are the independent members on the Governing Council voted for the removal of the Vice-Chancellor.

“After calm had been restored in the University, the Visitor acting within his powers, set up a Presidential Visitation Panel to review the actions taken by Governing Council.

“The Vice-Chancellor (who had been removed from office) and myself were told to recuse ourselves for the duration of the Visitation Panel.

“I find it difficult to understand how a non-executive Chairman of a Governing Council could be requested to recuse himself during the visitation

“The Vice-Chancellor could only recuse himself if he were still in office. Implicit in this position is that the Vice-Chancellor was acknowledged as still being in office despite his removal.

“The terms of reference of the Visitation Panel clearly indicated to any discerning person that the Visitation Panel was empanelled to exonerate the Vice-Chancellor and implicate the Pro-Chancellor.

“For easy reference, the terms of reference of the Visitation Panel are:

  •  To review the report of the Council sub-committee on review of expenditure of the University of Lagos since May 2017 and make appropriate recommendations after affording all those indicted an opportunity to defend themselves;
  • To examine the steps taken by the Council leading to the removal of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, and ascertain whether due process was followed as stipulated in the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act, 2003, and the principle of fair hearing adhered to;
  • To determine whether the process (if any) leading to the appointment of the acting Vice Chancellor for the University was consistent with the provisions of the enabling Act;
  • To make appropriate recommendations including sanctions for all those found culpable by the special visitation team on the allegations contained in the report as well as other subsequent actions arising therefrom; and
  • To make any other recommendations that will assist the government to take decisions that will ensure peaceful, stable and effective administration of the University.

“As stated earlier, the Vice-Chancellor was removed for various reasons and not just as a result of the findings contained in the Dagari Report. Items (b) and (c) were directed at the Pro-Chancellor and Governing Council.

“Unfortunately, those items deal with the interpretation of the laws of the land. The appropriate forum to determine the laws of the land is a court of law or a judicial tribunal. It cannot be determined by academics of a different discipline no matter how distinguished. These terms of reference are ultra-vires the Visitation Panel as constituted.”

The membership of the Visitation Panel is simply inappropriate in the circumstance. How can a committee of Vice-Chancellors determine the culpability or otherwise of the actions of a Pro-Chancellor and a Governing Council?”

“On the face of it, it is simply wrong! Furthermore, the Vice-Chancellors on the Panel were drawn from relatively smaller universities who are not likely to have a comprehensive understanding of the procedure contained in the University of Lagos Act (as amended).

“Even Vice-Chancellors of state universities were included. As Chairman of the Federal Government Negotiation Team, I know the challenges faced with the administration of state universities.

“I only appeared before the Panel out of my very great respect for you, Sir. My training as a lawyer revealed to me very clearly, that the Panel was inappropriate for the assignment.

“During my appearance, I made it very clear that I was appearing in protest and the Panel, as constituted, could not determine the issues before it. The active participation of the staff of the Ministry of Education in the Panel and their contributions throughout the sittings especially the hounding of witnesses who came to testify against the Vice-Chancellor was enough to show very clearly that the technocrats in the Ministry had a defined agenda.

“Their obvious agenda was to humiliate the Governing Council. Sir, fortunately there is a verbatim recording of the proceedings of the Visitation Panel, and you may wish to direct objective persons to listen to the recording.

“I am particularly relieved by the comment of the Chancellor of the University, His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr) Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Al Amin El-Kanemi CFR on the situation in the University. In a letter dated 15th September 2020 and addressed to your good self (which I was copied), His Royal Highness stated thus:

“I have discovered that there are too many vested interests in this matter, who are not approaching the issues objectively. For this reason, I strongly advise that the Visitation Panel should not submit any formal report to the Minister that may hinder my ability to deal with the issues comprehensively

“I have served the university system in Nigeria with my heart and intellect. Amongst other offices, I was:

  •  Pro-Chancellor, University of Maiduguri (2009 – 2013);
  • Chairman, Council of Pro-Chancellors of all Federal Universities (2009 – 2013);
  • Chairman, Federal Government Implementation Team of the 2009 Agreement (2009 – 2013);
  • Chairman, Federal Government Negotiation Team of the 2009 Agreement (2017 till date);
  • Pro-Chancellor, University of Lagos (2017 till date).

“These were made possible by a system that provided resources and also ensured proper monitoring of the resources.

“The educational system in Nigeria requires more funding but most importantly, it requires prudent management of the limited resources.

“It was my determination to ensure that the limited resources of the University of Lagos were properly utilized that motivated me to lead the Governing Council to take the decisions which the Governing Council took.

“In all these positions that I have held, I did not receive any remuneration. Specifically:

“I did not receive any sitting allowance. I did not receive any tickets or travel allowance.

I did not receive or use any official car.

In the University of Maiduguri and University of Lagos, I did not allow the institutions to provide me with food or drinks. I paid for every right or privilege that was conferred on me.

“Even when I travelled to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, I paid for my ticket and my expenses.

“I did not obtain any contract from the education sector in my relative long sojourn in the sector.

“My motivation for my actions is that I had the best education that an intellect could provide in Nigeria and abroad. It is my fervent desire that every Nigerian should have the sort of opportunities I had.

“I remain very grateful to all the members of the Federal Government team on the Governing Council of the University of Lagos, namely: Alhaji Ali Hussein; Rev. Yomi Kasali; Dr. Bayo Adaralegbe; and Dr. Saminu Dagari.

“It would be very difficult to find a group of more selfless persons than these individuals. It is acutely hurtful that I am leaving before achieving our goal of sanitizing the University of Lagos, and turning it to a reference point in Africa and the world, rather than the unenviable poor position it now occupies.

“Unfortunately, I must stand by principle. In a situation where my employers believe that the actions I took may not be right, the appropriate thing to do is bow out in honour. Sir, may the Almighty Allah continue to bless you.

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Rakib Idris is a scientist, blogger, entrepreneur, web designer, socioeconomic and political commentator. He loves writing quality contents for readers and presenting to them happenings around the world promptly as they occur. Thank you for visiting pointloaded.com , •••• For Advert Placement Call/WhatsApp: 09054011337 or send an E-mail to info@pointloaded.com

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Education

Use SIWES To Be Self-reliant, FULafia V-C Advises Students

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The Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Lafia (FULafia), Professor Shehu Abdul Rahman, has admonished students embarking on the Students Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) to see the scheme as an opportunity to become self-reliant.

Abdul Rahman advised them to, therefore, acquire skills that would help them in their future endeavours.

Abdul Rahman spoke at the 7th Edition of the Annual SIWES Orientation Programme for 2019/2020 batch.

The vice-chancellor, represented by the Head of Department of Economics, FULafia, Dr. Ilemona Adofu, appealed to all the students to adopt learning attitude with a view to making the scheme beneficial to themselves.

The vice-chancellor said that the scheme was an essential part of students academic programme which exposed them to demands and challenges of the work place, advising them to be diligent in their work so as “to become self-reliant when they graduate.”

While commending the SIWES Directorate for organising the programme, he enjoined the students to be good ambassadors of the University wherever they may go.

In his address, the Area Manager, Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Nasarawa State Area Office, Engr. Garba Hassan, advised the students to be disciplined while expanding their horizons in learning.

Hassan commended the efforts of the University’s management in adequately preparing the students for the scheme, he encouraged the students to imbibe to show dedication, loyalty, punctuality and honesty during and after the programme.

Engr. Hassan told the students that the ITF would make their SIWES experience worthwhile.

Earlier in his address, the Director of SIWES, FULafia, Dr. Amos Idzi Ambo, said that the scheme was expected to help students bridge the gap between theory and practice, noting that “experience is lacking among youths today and SIWES is the only stimulant that can correct and propel national development in Nigeria”.

Amos charged the students to be good ambassadors of FULafia during the SIWES exercise.

Present at the event were the ITF Head of Training, Mr. Ismail Akanbi, Mrs. Offiongita E. Nkang of SIWES Directorate, FULafia, other staff of the University and students.

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Education

JAMB: How To Register For 2021 UTME

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The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) on Saturday announced the commencement of registration of candidates for the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry (DE) to tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

The decision came barely 48 hours after it had stopped the exercise over technical challenges of the National Identification Number (NIN).

But a terse statement issued by the spokesperson for JAMB, Dr Fabian Benjamin, said registration for the examination had now commenced in full swing as all the issues had been resolved.

How To Apply For The 2021 UTME:

1. VALID, FUNCTIONAL E-MAIL, PHONE NUMBER

It is important to get a valid and functional e-mail account. You also need an active phone number.  This is because you will need this for registration and to send and receive information from JAMB.

Your e-mail is also a form of identity for you.

To Get Jamb Profile Code for E-Pin purchase simply 
type NIN, leave a space & then type your NIN & send it to 55019.

To get Jamb Profile code for 2021 UTME & Direct Entry Registration, type NIN, leave a space & then type your NIN & send it to 55019.

A confirmation code of 10 characters will be received by the candidate on the same telephone number which will be used to procure the E-Pin.

In simple language, Type NIN, leave a space & type your NIN and send it to 55019 to get your Jamb Profile code at the rate of N50. Make sure you have enough airtime (at least N100) and confirm that your SIM Card can send and receive messages.

2. NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER

JAMB will be making use of the National Identification Number for registration this year.  Being a compulsory requirement, you will need it for your enrollment.

3. VISIT JAMB WEBSITE

After having your email address and NIN ready, you can proceed to the JAMB website.

When you get there, create a JAMB profile, preferably before purchasing the form.

4. CHECK JAMB iBass

After creating a profile, it is recommended that you check JAMB iBass to be sure of your eligibility to take this year’s examination. The information is provided on the official website of the exam body.

5. JAMB e-pin
After your eligibility has been confirmed, then you can proceed to purchase your 2021 JAMB e-pin for registration from banks, online (using ATM card) or other accredited outlets.

6. CBT CENTRE
Then, proceed to any accredited computer-based test centre with your personal details and your profile code.

READ ALSO: 2021 UTME: JAMB Announces Registration Date, Makes NIN Mandatory

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Education

FULafia To Commence Pharmaceutical Sciences – V-C

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Arrangements have been concluded by the Federal University of Lafia (FULafia) to establish the faculty of pharmaceutical sciences.

The faculty, when established and start to churn out pharmacists, would complement the growing needs for effective drugs and pharmacists in the country.

The Vice Chancellor of FULafia, Professor Shehu Abdul Rahman, stated so when the executive members of Pharmaceutical Council of Nigeria (PCN), led by its President, Pharmacist Okpalaeke Nwora, visited to congratulate him on his recent appointment as the third vice-chancellor of FULafia.

Abdul Rahman, who was delighted by the visit, said that he was happy to meet with the PCN officials to workout modalities for the successful take-off of the pharmaceutical programme in FULafia.

The vice-chancellor told the PCN members that the Senate of the University had since approved the commencement of faculty of pharmaceutical sciences, pointing out that their input from the Pharmacists was considered crucial “so that we can start well.”

The Pharmacists Council of Nigeria is a federal government agency, established by Act 91 of 1992, known as Cap P17 of 2004, Laws of Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The council is responsible for the regulation of the practice of pharmacy in all aspects and ramifications.

Speaking earlier, the leader of the delegation, Pharmacist Okpalaeke Nwora, said that Nigeria, with more than 200 people, had only 22 accredited pharmacy schools, pointing out that “eight are in the North, the majority are in the South, and only two are in the North-central, with one in Jos and the other in Ilorin.”

He said that since the inception of pharmacy practice in Nigeria in 1927, the country was only able to licensed 27,000 pharmacists.

Currently, Nwora said that “we have only 60 indigenous pharmacists practicing in Nasarawa State.”

He said that the World Health Organisation’s index and recommended standard for pharmacy per patient ratio is 12 pharmacists to every 10 thousand patients, lamenting that Nasarawa State had less than two pharmacists to 10 thousand patients.

He pointed out that the commencement of pharmacy education in FULafia would benefit both the institution (PCN) and the state at large and bridge the manpower gap in the region.

Nwora prayed to God to enable Prof. Abdul Rahman to establish the faculty of pharmaceutical sciences in the University “so that his name will be echoed for many generations to come.

On his part, the Honourable Commissioner of Health, Nasarawa State, Hon. Pharm. Ahmed Baba Yahaya, assured the vice-chancellor of the Nasarawa state government’s support, noting that the government has already donated an edifice to house the FULafia Teaching Hospital, Lafia, as part of the preparation for commencement of operations of the college of medicine.

Other members of the PCN delegation who were at the event included Prof. Yakubu Ngwai; Dr. Jacob James, the Director Pharmaceutical Services, Nasarawa State Ministry of Health; Dr. Denis Kudu Ega, Chairman, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria; Dr. Danjuma Baba, Pharm. Emmanuel Anga; Pharm. Joshua Ghali, the Director, Pharmaceutical Services, Hospitals Management Board, Nasarawa State; Pharm. Christopher Ishaleku; Pharm. Augustine Luka; Pharm. Emmanuel Yona; Pharm. Mohammed Okonu; Pharm. Nuria Abene and Pharm. Hassana Mansur.

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