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My Administration Working With Critical Stakeholders To Address Challenges Facing Abia – Gov. Otti

… says no part of the state shall be ceded to any group threaten the peace in Abia

Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti, has said that beyond ensuring security of lives and property, his administration is working with multiple stakeholders, including multilateral and donor agencies, global IT companies and local financial institutions, to develop a robust framework for addressing the critical challenges facing Abia people.

The challenges, according to the Governor, include endemic poverty, restricted access to basic amenities, limited skills for enhanced earning and unequal access to the boundless opportunities of the 21st century global economy.

Speaking at the swearing in of new Transition Council Chairmen/Mayors in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, Governor Otti, who admitted that the road ahead is still far, however expressed satisfaction that his administration is progressively setting a new template for governance in the state; as people now know how and where their resources are being channelled to, and Abians can look to the future with great optimism.

He noted that the overarching objective of his administration is to improve the economy of the state by working on the fundamental enablers for economic prosperity, especially in the towns with the most potential for accelerated growth and development.

Stating that his administration cannot wait to accommodate the local government areas in the state as new strategic partners in the development projects, Governor Otti charged the new council chairmen to design their programmes in ways that align with the general development philosophy of the Labour Party Administration in the State.

He noted that security and welfare of the people are priorities of his administration at all times, which is why it is currently working with an amalgamation of critical stakeholders to guarantee the safety of life and property in all parts of the state.

He tasked leaders of the various LGAs to ensure that security architecture is strengthened in the towns and villages within their domains, especially as the yuletide approaches, insisting that no part of Abia shall be ceded to any group whose actions threaten the peace in Abia communities.

The Governor’s statement reads in full:

Expanding the Frontiers of Development

Being A Speech Delivered By the Governor of Abia State on the Occasion of the Swearing in of New Transition Council Chairmen/Mayors in Umuahia on Thursday, November 30, 2023.


1. It is with a great sense of fulfilment that I welcome everyone to this very important event which marks yet another strategic step in our steady push to meet the developmental needs of our homeland; harnessing the extensive opportunities that abound in every part of the state for the material wellbeing and prosperity of the people.

2. I want to begin by congratulating the newly appointed Transition Council (TC) Chairmen also called Mayors and their deputies for being found worthy by a cross section of stakeholders to serve as the vanguards of the New Abia in the 17 LGAs. Very importantly, I am very glad that you have accepted to bring your extensive wealth of experience in various fields of human endeavours to bear in the service of your communities.

3. Commendations are also due to the leadership and members of the State House of Assembly for fast-tracking the screening process and doing so much to ensure that the exercise proceeded without hitches. Thank you for being partners in progress as we work collectively to build a better society where the riches of the land are deployed in honest service to the present and future generations.

4. It is also appropriate that we say a word of appreciation to the Labour Party leaders and stakeholders across the 17 LGAs and the 184 wards in the state for actively participating in the process that led to the selection of these accomplished individuals who would take over the mantle of leadership in our various local governments for the next six months in the first instance as the Constitution stipulates.

5. The diligence, efforts at consultations and negotiations that attended the selection process for the mayors and their deputies are pointers to what is possible when we appreciate the true responsibility of leadership in our dealings, serving our communities with fairness, sincerity and an abiding sense of inclusion.

6. We may not have made the most perfect of choices but if the feedback we have gotten since the names of the would-be mayors were announced are anything to go by, there is no doubt that we have made very quality judgement in the choices of the individuals selected. It is my hope that the optimism that attended the announcements would be matched by the quality of your performance and dedication.

7. We are also not oblivious of the fact that there are a few leaders who may have some misgivings about the people that have been selected. Your concerns, expressed and unstated, have been duly noted but we must re-emphasise that there are no perfect arrangements. The beauty of democracy is that in the long run, opportunities and platforms for service present themselves to everyone in diverse capacities.

8. To the new mayors and deputies, may I remind you that this is a call to serve and not to be served. We do not expect you to get everything right on the first day but you must be willing to learn, keeping your mind open to new ideas and possibilities.

9. While the State would give each of you the freehand to manage the affairs of the council responsibly, it is very important to design your programmes in ways that align with the general development philosophy of the present Labour Party Administration in the State. Our priority at all times must be the security and welfare of the people.

10. We are currently working with an amalgamation of critical stakeholders to guarantee the safety of life and property in all parts of the state. So far, the efforts have been very fruitful because as many observers have noted, Abia has become one of the safest places to reside in, travel to or set up a thriving business enterprise.

11. Your first task as leaders of the various LGAs shall include strengthening the security architecture in the towns and villages within your domain, especially as the yuletide approaches. As we have said on many occasions, no part of Abia, not an inch, shall be ceded to any group of criminals, whether they are armed robbers, kidnappers or any individual or group, whose actions threaten the peace in our communities.

12. Beyond the security of life and property, our administration is working with multiple stakeholders, including multilateral and donor agencies, global IT companies and local financial institutions, to develop a robust framework for addressing the critical challenges facing our people including endemic poverty, restricted access to basic amenities including potable water, access roads to the farms and markets; limited skills for enhanced earning and unequal access to the boundless opportunities of the 21st century global economy. The State Government cannot wait to accommodate the LGAs as new strategic partners in the development Projects.

13. The tasks before us are daunting but we must remain resolute. Abia electorates chose us above all other political groups in the State because the people believe that we have the most credible, competent and development-oriented men and women in our ranks. We have now been given the opportunity to prove the electorates right and further consolidate the appeal of our great party amongst all demographic groups.

14. I have heard people ask why we chose certain class of people for the mayoral positions and my response is simple: we need the best hands and heads to drive the development of the state. We are in a hurry to elevate the standards of leadership to accommodate strictly those who have something to offer.

15. While I would be the first to admit that the road ahead is still far, I am, however, satisfied that we are progressively setting a new template for governance in the state; the people now know how and where their resources are being channelled to and Abians can look to the future with great optimism.

16. We are not just reconstructing and rehabilitating roads to score cheap political points, our overarching objective is to improve the economy of the state by working on the fundamental enablers for economic prosperity, especially in the towns with the most potential for accelerated growth and development. Quality road networks for us are not just end in themselves, but a pathway to something more profound.

17. The philosophy is the same for education and health where we are working very hard to improve access and quality of output. Our goal is to have the healthiest and most educated population and ultimately, create a mass of healthy and wealthy citizens.

18. Your primary task as mayors and deputies shall be to make the local communities and towns conducive for active production and rapid growth. We expect you to quickly develop holistic frameworks for improving agriculture and light scale production in ways that enhance outputs and attract domestic and foreign investors. As you may be aware, Abia has become the most beautiful bride amongst investors and you would do well to position your LGAs as a top destination within the state.

19. You must realise that while the task ahead is enormous, you do not have unlimited resources in money or time. You must therefore get your priorities right, build networks that can help you drive the development agenda of our Party in your LGAs and discern where more would be achieved through partnership with relevant agencies of the state.

20. One thing you are encouraged to guard against is the distractions that are bound to come from internal wrangling and needless power tussles. You have been called to serve the people and that must be your most important priority. While we expect the party leaders, traditional and community leaders to give you all the necessary support you need to succeed, you must also recognise that they are critical stakeholders whose input should be sought when it comes to taking far-reaching decisions.

21. As I conclude, may I assure you that my doors will constantly be open to welcome and offer you all the support you need to succeed as mayors and deputies. Do not hesitate to call when you need clarity or guidance on knotty matters. With your pedigree and accomplishments, I have no doubt that the promise of the New Abia shall now become a reality, even in the remotest parts of our communities.

22. I wish you God’s guidance and wisdom as you begin. Thank you for accepting to serve.

Dr Alex C. Otti, OFR


For a while now, the South East has been in terrible shape. The area that was the safest and most tranquil in the nation around two years ago is now plagued with insecurity. A large portion of the blame can be attributed to the void left by the almost total absence of patriotic and selfless political leadership.

Their political leaders haven’t done enough to stand up for the people of the Southeast; instead, they have taken advantage of them to establish themselves. That’s how the zone descended into anarchic and violent youth unrest that eventually took the form of what is now known as Yahoo ritual killings, ESN, Biafra agitation, Unknown Gunmen (UGM), and so on.

In light of this, it is appropriate to applaud the Peace in South East Project (PISE-P), a comprehensive five-year project introduced by Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives RT Hon. Benjamin Kalu aimed at promoting peace and development in the zone. The Peace and Security Initiative aims to tackle the intricate socio-economic problems and security concerns that the South East zone of Nigeria faces.

With a multi-stakeholder approach, the PISE-P programme aims to restore peace and spur development in response to the growing impact of agitations, economic downturn, and security risks.

A prosperous and opportunity-filled South East where each resident is empowered to contribute to a united and prosperous zone and Nigeria is the vision of PISE-P. Development in South East Nigeria is contingent upon the restoration of enduring peace, stability, and sustainable development. Over the past two years, the region has been undergoing significant economic and social decline. Companies in the area are moving to Asaba, Lagos, and Ogun. Prominent businesspeople, politicians, and celebrities are now avoiding returning home to avoid becoming victims like Dora Akunyili’s husband, Dr. Chike Akunyili, or billionaire businessman Chief Offorma of Nnewi, who were among innumerable others killed by the so-called Unknown gunmen (UGM).

The economic situation in the Southeast region has been challenging. A study conducted by SBM Intelligence on behalf of DevEast Foundation Ltd./Gte has revealed that between October 2020 and April 2022, an average of five days were lost each month. Over the 24-month study period, this adds up to a total of approximately 120 days lost. This translates to a whopping loss of about N655,382,338,560 and N3766,308,111,480 respectively, due to sit-at-home days alone.

Based on SBM Intelligence, the Southeast region experiences a loss of about N10 to N13 billion in the transport industry alone for each day of demonstration or stay-at-home. Unless some drastic measures are implemented, these losses are expected to continue. Therefore, there is a need for interventions such as the Southeast Peace Initiative to address this issue.

In the words of political philosopher Victor Hugo, the PISE-P proposition is thus a concept whose time has come. The initiative hopes that creative and inclusive non-kinetic approaches in collaboration with other stakeholders such as the zone’s local and state governments, will enable the region’s dynamic youths to return to the fields of education, agriculture, commerce, and industry.

They will also be able to engage in infrastructure development within the zone, support the revival of cultural tourism, and earn a living and a reputation through sports and entertainment. The goal is also to bring back the “Igba Boi,” or Igbo apprenticeship system, which Ndigbo used to address issues of generational poverty transfers, crippling poverty, and empowerment after the Biafra war.

Therefore, PISE-P’s goal is to restore an atmosphere in which people’s potential is realised, businesses thrive once more, and the South East once more emerges as a hub of prosperity, inspiring positive change throughout Nigeria and beyond.

Hitherto, the zone was recognised as a centre for entrepreneurial activity before the disturbances brought about by Biafra agitations, UGM, and other sources of instability in the region, as the majority of the population was involved in small, medium, and large-scale enterprises of various sizes. The radical economic strategies implemented in the energy sector, such as the removal of subsidies and the unification of the FX regime, have left the country in a challenging economic situation and have made life quite difficult.

As a result, businesses in the southeast states are closing their doors or moving elsewhere, making the situation even direr. Ndigbo cannot afford to keep losing trillions of naira to protests or for their businesses to continue to suffer massive attrition through relocation, with its attendant consequences.

Unemployment, inflation, and security challenges are now rife, and economic downturns brought on by separatist agitations have limited the zone’s capacity for development. PISE-P, a panacea, intends to work with all levels of government and important stakeholders to swiftly address these issues, bring about peace, and unleash the zone’s unrealized potential once more.

PISE-P acknowledges the need for shared prosperity and long-term stability and intends to take a non-kinetic approach to peacebuilding and development. The project’s main goal is to involve the community in several theme areas, such as sports and entertainment, infrastructure development, education, agriculture, business and industry, sports and entertainment, and culture and tourism. PISE-P plans to work with regional, national, and worldwide partners to establish a comprehensive synergy for long-lasting transformation.

Young people indeed need to be given respectable ways to pass the time and have fun besides crime and drugs, and the best way to do this worldwide has been through sports and entertainment. One surefire way to lure back the Igbo youngsters is to promote the entertainment sector for its social and economic benefits, as well as to develop grassroots sports activities.

To revive youth involvement in community project development and service delivery on a direct labour and pro gratis basis, as was the case in the good old days, the programme should also attempt to embrace the reintroduction of “Olu Obodo”(community service) as contrasted with “Olu Oyibo” (white collar jobs).

It is also encouraging that the initiative aims to work in tandem with federal and state agencies to uphold peace, protect the lives and livelihoods of those residing in the area, and extend cooperation to social groups like Ohanaeze Ndigbo, different market associations, and cultural women’s groups known locally as Umu Ada, Umu Okpu, and Ndi Inyom to garner support and awareness.

It’s also an excellent idea that PISE-P would look to collaborate with foreign organisations like the UN, UNDP, and USAID, with a particular emphasis on obtaining funding and technical assistance to ensure that her goals are realised on time.

PISE-P is comprehensive. It includes projects and programmes on entrepreneurship training, skill development, and start-up capital access to lower youth unemployment. It boosts economic activity, as well as other security-related fields like intelligence gathering, counterterrorism, crisis management, and community policing.

The primary objectives of PISE-P are to considerably decrease insecurity, enhance social unity and foster development. This way, the population residing in the area will be empowered to eradicate the malevolent forces that have damaged their economy and subjugated them. The project incorporates safety measures to prevent relapses and recurrence in the future.

Thus, PISE-P stands for a calculated intervention aimed at resolving the urgent issues facing the Southeast region. There has never been a finer moment to launch PISE-P, than now.

· Dr. Law Mefor, an Abuja-based forensic and social psychologist, is a fellow of The Abuja School of Social and Political Thoughts;; Twitter: @Drlawsonmefor.

I will make Abia Small Business Destination In Nigeria – Otti vows

Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti, has expressed his commitment to ensuring the state maintains its position as Nigeria’s SME hub and aims for even greater success.

During a meeting with a delegation from the Bank of Industry (BOI), Governor Otti outlined his determination to enhance Abia’s status as a leading state for business operations nationwide.

He emphasized his vision to create opportunities for the populace, reducing hardship, hunger, and insecurity to the minimum.

In a statement released by his Chief Press Secretary, Kazie Uko, the Governor highlighted the alignment of the bankers’ visit with his state vision, emphasizing that governance should primarily focus on alleviating the people’s burdens.

“We strongly believe that governance is about the people, and anything you do that does not affect the people in a positive way, no matter how beautiful it may sound or look, will be a waste,” he said.

Governor Otti, a former bank executive while describing Abia state as industrious people, said he was committed to creating a business-friendly atmosphere to enable Abia entrepreneurs to excel and compete favourably with their counterparts across the globe.

“So, for us, we have come here to ease the burden of our people, particularly the very industrious set of hard-working people. We have come to provide an enabling environment for them to do their business,” he said.

He encouraged BOI to do more to encourage the growth of SMEs in the State and promised to support the management in reopening the bank’s office in Aba to serve the people better.

Governor Soludo Appoints New VC For Ojukwu Varsity

Anambra State Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, has appointed Professor Kate Azuka Omenugha as Acting Vice-Chancellor, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU).

Professor Omenugha as acting Vice-Chancellor replaces Professor Greg C. Nwakoby; following the expiration of his tenure as Vice-Chancellor of the university.

Press Secretary to the Governor, Christian Aburime, disclosed this in a statement available to newsmen in Awka.

Also appointed was Professor Louis Chukwuemeka Orakwue; as State Project Coordinator, Anambra State Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP).

Peacebuilding: Anaku, Omor Representatives Embrace, Exchange Phone Numbers At A Meeting Convened By United Nigeria Chaplaincy (UNC)

… as 15 join Anambra State Command of the chaplaincy

Anaku and Omor, two communities in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State that have been on war path for long have made gestures signalling possible return of peace in the agrarian communities.

At a recent meeting convened by the United Nigeria Chaplaincy (UNC), representatives of both communities had reasons to embrace one another, and exchange phone numbers.

Chaplain General of UNC, Barrister Chris Daniel, who disclosed this at Idemili North Local Government Headquarters Ogidi; during commissioning ceremony for 15 Cadets of the chaplaincy, said relevant stakeholders involved in the return of peace in the area would help come up with a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to ensure lasting peace, just as he announced plans to settle boundary dispute between Tivi and Rivers people, among others.

He called for total obedient of the new members to the UNC, as well as sincerity and fear of God at work to enable them serve the people better by assisting security agencies and helping to build peace anytime anywhere.

Contributing, a member of Board of Trustees of the United Nigeria Chaplaincy in charge of Administration, Chaplain Marshal Uzoma Nwandu, who noted that earlier efforts by security agencies and other stakeholders had failed, said it was the God of peace that entered through the UNC at the meeting and “subdued the wickedness of the enemy”.

Reminding that the UNC started in Anambra State, Nwandu urged the newly commissioned officers to make transparency their watchword, and not to shy away from their basic responsibilities, including peacekeeping and other humanitarian services.

He said that efforts are being made to get more of government support for the group, and called on security agencies to take actions to stop those using the name or related names of the group to defraud people and deny government and members of the society opportunities to benefit from their humanitarian services.

On his part, the Anambra State Commandant of the UNC, Chaplain Service Commander David Arinzechukwu, said the meeting convened for Anaku and Omor people will surely bring lasting peace in the area, and help Governor Chukwuma Soludo administration make Anambra liveable.

He reminded the Anaku and Omor people that no society develops in crisis situation, reason they should embrace peace.

Arinzechukwu charged the fifteen newly commissioned members to go into the field and help UNC make positive impact by working for the good of the society.

Earlier, the Assistant Commandant General of the UNC in charge of Training, Chaplain General James Obasi, and Finance Minister of the chaplaincy, Chaplain Marshal Jephthah Anyaoha, who noted that helping security agencies in their duties to the society is part of their responsibilities, called on the new members to join efforts in carrying out humanitarian services and building peace in crisis areas.

Some of the newly commissioned members, including Chaplain Hope Okpara and Chaplain Ebelechukwu Frederick-Victor, said they have been encouraged to embark on humanitarian services; as being championed by the UNC, and promised to be disciplined in the discharge of their duties.

Airline Blames Diversion Of Abuja-Bound Flight To Asaba On Poor Weather

There was drama on Flight NUA 0504 from the Lagos airport on Sunday when the Abuja-bound passengers were flown to Asaba airport.

Nigerian domestic carrier, United Nigeria Airlines, has blamed “poor weather” for the diversion of an Abuja-bound flight to Asaba, the Delta State capital.

There was drama on Flight NUA 0504 from the Lagos airport on Sunday when the Abuja-bound passengers were flown to Asaba airport.

The cabin crew, upon landing in Asaba, told the passengers that they had arrived at Abuja airport, creating confusion among the passengers.

However, in a statement by a spokesman for the airline, Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu, United Nigeria Airlines acknowledged the error on the part of its cabin crew.

The airline explained that the pilots of the aircraft temporarily diverted the flight to the Asaba airport due to “poor destination weather”.

“At all material time, the Pilot of the aircraft was aware of the temporary diversion and was properly briefed.

“Meanwhile, the aircraft has landed safely in Abuja following improvement on destination weather,” the statement read.

Source : Channel News

Tinubu’s Presidency Ordained By God, Says Oba of Benin

As though advancing a closing argument on the 2023 general election, the Oba of Benin, Omo N’ Oba N’ Edo, Uku Akpolokpolo, Ewuare II, on Sunday, in Lagos, declared that it must have pleased God to ordain Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu as Nigeria’s president, if his difficult path to victory was anything to go by, including the many court cases that greeted his emergence.

The foremost custodian of the Benin tradition and culture, who further called on the Nigerian people to support the Tinubu administration as well as live in peace, also hailed the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for his giant strides in the state.

This was as Sanwo-Olu, in company with his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and other cabinet members, took the revered monarch on a tour of the Lagos Museum – the  J. Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History, Onikan.

Speaking at the Lagos House, Marina, the Oba of Benin noted that Tinubu’s victory at the 2023 presidential poll and his eventual emergence as President showed that God ordained him to rule the country, hence the need for all Nigerians to support him to achieve the greater dream for Nigeria.

Harping on the need for peaceful coexistence in the country to achieve sustainable development in all areas of the nation’s economy, he said diversity was good for Nigeria and urged the people to iron out their differences and live as a family in peace, unity and harmony with one another.

“God has ordained that Tinubu would become President of Nigeria. We are all one. I am for peace and tranquility. We must live together as one. Nigeria is big. We must iron out our differences and learn to live together as one, big family,” he said.

The Oba of Benin, who congratulated Sanwo-Olu on his reelection and commended his giant strides, however, charged him not to rest on his oars but do more to achieve greater heights in his second term in office.

Sanwo-Olu, while speaking, assured the monarch that the state would continue to be home to everyone irrespective of ethnic, religious or political affiliations.

Eulogising the Oba of Benin for distinguishing himself among the traditional rulers, he said his protection of culture and promotion of traditional values, have earned him maximum respect across the country.

Source : Arise News

Nigerian celebrities behave like Israel in presence of politicians – Seun Kuti


Musician, Seun Kuti has made a comparison between the conduct of numerous Nigerian celebrities in the presence of politicians, comparing it to the situation between Israel DMW and Davido amid the ongoing marital controversy with Israel’s estranged wife, Sheila.

Seun said that Nigerians and dignity are mutually exclusive words. He stated that behind the camera, most Nigerian celebrities behave like Israel when they meet politicians.

He said: “All the celebrities in Nigeria behave like Israel in front of politicians and billionaires, na praise una dey praise dem na. Why is this different? At least David isn’t sucking your blood! Who deserves hailing? Question for the gods.”

Source : Nation Newspaper

Lagos crushes 1,500 motorcycles apprehended in prohibited routes

The Lagos State government on Monday, November 27, crushed 1,500 apprehended commercial motorcycles popularly called Okada in a renewed onslaught against Okada operation in the 10 local governments and 15 local council development areas (LCDAS) in the state.

The commissioner for transportation, Oluwaseun Osiyemi, who disclosed this while supervising the crushing of the motorcycles at the Taskforce Yard, Alausa, Ikeja, said this is in line with the government’s commitment to the safety and security of lives and property. He said the exercise is an indication that the government is not rescinding its decision to apprehend, impound, and crush recalcitrant motorcycles plying all restricted areas.


He said: “The ban on Okada in specified areas is crucial for maintaining order, reducing risks associated with unauthorized motorcycle operation, and also improving security.”

The prohibited local government areas include; Kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu, Mushin, Apapa, Ikeja, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Surulere, and Eti-Osa.

The Local Council Development Areas under them which the ban also covered include; Ojodu, Onigbongbo, Lagos Island East, Yaba, and Coker Aguda. Others are; Itire-Ikate, Eti-Osa West, Iru Victoria Island, Ikoyi-Obalende, Ikosi-Isheri, Agboyi-Ketu, Isolo, Ejigbo, Bariga, and Odi-Olowo.

The commissioner urged Okada operators to obey the ban order in the prohibited areas, adding that Okada is not a safe means of commercial transportation and does not fit into the transport policy of the state.

Also present at the crushing exercise are the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transportation, Olawale Musa, and other officials of the ministry.

Source : Nation Newspaper

Lecturers shortage hits varsities, ASUU blames japa, IPPIS

Universities in Nigeria are battling a severe shortage of staff as thousands of lecturers leave the tertiary institutions to seek greener pastures in foreign lands amid the high number of retirements at the varsities.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities branches in separate interviews with The PUNCH on Sunday confirmed this, adding that the shortage was due to the surge in the exit of the lecturers out of Nigeria and the concerns around the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System.

ASUU at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, said about 100 lecturers had left the university, while the union at the Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara, disclosed that the institution was in need of about 1,000 lecturers to fill the vacancies created by those who had left.

The union at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State said over 350 academic vacancies were available at the institution, while 27 lecturers had left two faculties at the University of Lagos, as 100 workers at the University of Uyo travelled out of the country.

The union disclosed that about 500 academic vacancies existed at the University of Ilorin in Kwara State, while both academic and non-academic staff of the Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology were leaving the country.

The Chairman, Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Ondo State, Dr. Rotimi Olorunsola, said many of the staff of the institution, both academic and non-academic, had left the university.

Olorunsola said, “Yes, some have japa (travelled out of the country), both the academic staff and non-academic.”

The Head of the Media and Protocol, Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Mr Victor Akinpelumi, confirmed that many workers of the institution had moved out of the institution.

“It is true many workers, both academic and non-academic, have left the university, but as I am now, I can’t give a specific number. I can confirm that many workers of the university have gone,” he stated.

The Chairman of ASUU, University of Benin, Dr Ray Chikogu, said the shortage of staff in UNIBEN and other universities had been a problem that existed for a long time due to the embargo on employment by the Federal Government.

He said this constituted undue interference by the government in the running of the universities, especially as it affected the recruitment and promotion of staff.

He said, “The teaching staff department is grossly understaffed. For a very long time, academic staff have been overburdened with work in the University of Benin and many other universities in the country.

“It has been a problem for a number of years now because of the embargo on employment in federal universities and the process of recruitment of staff is a very cumbersome one. The university has to obtain permission from the head of service through the accountant-general’s office.

Source : Punch Newspaper