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Fear Looms As Nigerians Await ASUU’s Decision After Warning Strike

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Students and stakeholders in the education sector are waiting for the next step as the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)’s one-month warning strike ends on Monday.

The National Executive Council (NEC) of the union is meeting at the national secretariat of the party and is expected to make an official statement later in the day.

While ASUU has not made a statement, reports suggest that the union may likely extend the industrial action.

On Sunday, the union said it is angered by the Federal Government’s claim that the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), developed to replace the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) did not pass tests.

“However, in a curious twist of submission, the NITDA Technical Team, after conducting a comprehensive functionality test came out to say that out of 687 test cases, 529 cases were satisfactory, 156 cases queried, and two cases were cautioned,” the union said.

“Taking this report on its face value, the percentage score is 77%. The question that arises from this is, can 77% in any known fair evaluation system be categorised as failure?”

The latest round of strikes followed ASUU’s grievances with the Federal Government over its handling of a 2020 agreement it reached with the union.

While government and ASUU officials have had a series of meetings in the wake of the industrial action, they have been accusations and counter-accusations as both parties failed to reach an agreement.

Irked by the incessant strikes, students protested across the nation, demanding the reopening of varsity campuses. They accused ASUU and the Federal Government of insensitivity, saying they are the most affected by the situation.

A meeting between the Education Minister, Adamu Adamu, and officials of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) ended in deadlock.

This year’s strike comes about one year after ASUU ended a nine-month strike.

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Education

OAUTH CMD Defies Buhari’s Order to Vacate Office

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 …Re-appoints self to Preside Over under-the-table Contracts

 Jeph Bisi

Against President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive, Prof. Victor Adetiloye has refused to vacate office as the Chief Medical Director of the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital (OAUTH), having completed his second tenure of four years on January 23, 2022.

This is as he sits tight to preside over multi-million-naira contracts without the approval of the board of directors of the institution, in a manner that has been described as disregard for civil service regulations and due process.

Prof Adetiloye who was first appointed the Chief Medical Director of OAUTH on January 29, 2014, finished his first tenure on January 23, 2018. Although his second appointment did not come till June of that same year, he imposed himself on the board as the sole administrator in an acting capacity, a move that contravened the provision and regulations of the civil service.

He was expected to hand over to the next senior person while awaiting his second appointment as provided by the provision, which clearly provides that on no ground should an outgoing CMD act even when he or she is awaiting a second appointment. But on the contrary, Adetiloye imposed himself on the board as a sole administrator, dishing out orders and contracts with impunity.

This however prompted members of the board to request his letter of extension in office, if there was any, that validated his continued stay in office as CMD in an acting capacity- a document he could not provide till June 2018.

This was after representatives of the Federal Ministry of Health on the Board brought a circular, one from the Ministry of Health and the other one from the Secretary to the Government saying that no CMD should hold the office in an acting capacity.

This followed several letters and correspondences that were written to the Ministry of Health, Head of Service, and the office of Secretary to Government of the Federation by concerned members of the Hospital Board.

However, in September 2018, Prof Adetiloye had a renewal of his appointment that took effect from January 2018.

Our findings have revealed that Adetiloye had applied for his second appointment with effect from January 23, 2018, which was also recommended by the Federal Ministry of Health, the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation to president Buhari with effect from the same date.

Similarly, the Chief of Staff to the President had also recommended the same date to the President, all of which were approved by President Buhari.

In two separate letters obtained by THE GLEAMER NEWS dated 8 March 2022 which was signed by Chairman, Management Board, Shehu Barau Ningi, and copied to the SFG and the Honourable Minister of Health, Prof. Adetiloye was requested to hand over to the Chairman Medical Advisory Committee (C-MAC) Dr. Owojiagbe, ‘‘who is the most senior officer in the Administrative hierarchy as Acting CMD with immediate effect’’.

In the same vein, in a letter dated 28th February 2022, from the office of the Secretary of the Government of the Federation, signed by the Permanent Secretary, Nnamdi Maurice Mbaeri, with reference No: SGF.6/XXV/322, had directed the Honourable Minister of Health to with immediate effect in line with President Buhari’s directive ask Prof Adetiloye to vacate office.   

The letter with the title: Re- REQUEST FOR THE CLARIFICATION ON RENEWAL APPOINTMENT OF PROFESSOR VICTOR ADEBAYO ADETILOYE AS CHIEF MEDICAL DIRECTOR, OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY TEACHING HOSPITAL, reads: “I write to acknowledge receipt of your letter Ref: SMH/557/9.3/IV/39 dated January 2022 (attached) in respect of the above subject and to inform, having cross-checked the records of this office, the reappointment of Prof. Victor Adeliloye is with effect from 24th January 2018, in line with Mr. President’s directive.

“Accordingly, Prof. Victor ADETILOYE should be directed to vacate office immediately having completed his second tenure, which expired on 23rd January 2022.

A source from the Teaching Hospital has alleged that the Ministry of Health has refused to act on President Buhari’s directive for selfish reasons, one of which he said was for contracts.

He said: “As we speak, he (Adetiloye) is preparing to award contracts to settle his cronies to cover up for the illegal contracts he has awarded in the past in acting capacity, which were not approved by the board. 

“He is now the sole administrator, running the hospital in disregard for the rules and regulations that regulate administrative activities 

He said he was afraid to see that the President of Nigeria issued an order that people could flagrantly disobey. ‘‘The reason is unconnected with the over N1b COVID-19 funds that he cannot give an account of, the source said.

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