The Management of Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, Edo State, has dismissed five staff members of the state-owned tertiary institution, with 21 others currently undergoing investigation for various criminal offenses.
A member of the Special Intervention Team (SIT), Mr. Austin Osakue, while submitting the progress report of the SIT to Governor Godwin Obaseki at the Government House, in Benin City, said the staff were dismissed by the Disciplinary Committee of the Institution.
Osakue, who urged the State Government to constitute a Governing Council and begin the process of hiring principal officers for the Institution, said the work done so far by the SIT will not be appreciated unless the Institution reviews its enabling laws.
He noted that the Institution has keyed into the directive of the Edo State Government as it has commenced the contributory pension scheme which started on August 1, 2023, adding, “All staff in the school 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 (998) 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 exams 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 land mass is ungoverned and the master plan tempered with, we appeal to you to collaborate with the Institution to restore the master plan.”
On his part, the Governor said his government is committed to restoring the lost glory of the Institution, preparing the tertiary institution for EdoBEST students who will be ready to gain admission into the school in about five to six years time.
According to the governor; “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’ time for the University and can’t 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 failed 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’s 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 noted that the search for members of the Governing Council will commence immediately, saying, “We will not want to bring in people into the Governing Council without the law in place.
“The 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’s time to change because we can’t 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’s only when you have good institutions that you are sure of development.”