*Begs FG To Relocate Herdsmen, Cattles From Campus
THE Vice Chancellor of University of Abuja, Professor Michael Adikwu, has refuted claims in some quarters that the University management is paying half salaries to academic staff and other workers in the institution.
Adikwu, spoke with newsman on Monday at the main campus of the University as part of the activities marking his three years in office, also disclosed that he had sought the intervention of the Federal government on the urgent need to relocate the herdsmen and their cattles from the university campus.
The Vice Chancellor, explained that from what he gathered, the herdsmen were brought into the university purposely by the Federal government when they had clashes with natives of the Federal Capital Territory to stave off further violence.
He added that he had personally approached the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Malam Muhammad Bello, on the issue and that he has promised to relocate them to Pai, a community in FCT.
He said: “I have mentioned it to the Minister of FCT and we now have a committee working on that. The Minister mentioned that they will eventually be relocated to Pai.
“He said there were four grazing sites. We are hopeful because I also mentioned it to the present Governing Council to sort of stimulate the Minister so that he can remove them from our campus,” Adikwu said.
He noted that the issue of salary cut was not peculiar to university of Abuja, but all the Federal universities, saying his university was able to pay up to 90 per cent as oppose to the alleged payment of half salaries to workers.
He said: “We have never paid half salaries. You heard the Bursar said that we have never paid less than 90℅. That is not equivalent to half salary.
“It was not the university of Abuja that did it. The salary cut affected all the Federal institutions. Some paid 85%, some 75%, but our own was very good. For somebody to say that we are paying half salary, that was not right,” he said.
The Vice Chancellor also used the occasion to debunk reports in section of the media that the University has increased tuition fee, saying not even the cost of student identity card has been increased.
He highlighted some of the achievements of his three years administration to include stability in the school academic programmes, restoration of industrial peace and harmony, as a result of cordial relationship between the staff unions and the school management as the host community.
He said the National Universities Commission (NUC) has also granted accreditation to all 12 courses run in the university during the last accreditation exercise conducted in November last year.
He noted that when he assumed office as Vice Chancellor of UNIABUJA, one of the things he inherited was a deep rooted crisis as a result of programmes that were already running but denied accreditation by NUC and other accreditation bodies.
He said funding has been one of the major challenges, saying his administration was working on how to explore and harness the potential of the university alumni association in supporting development of infrastructure.