Obaseki Set To Constitute Governing Council For Ambrose Alli University

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Three years after setting up a Special Intervention Team, SIT, in place of Governing Council for the Ambrose Alli University, AAU, Ekpoma, Governor Godwin Obaseki has promised to constitute a new governing council for the institution.

Media reports that the Benin Zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, had, at a press conference on Thursday, May 20, 2024, noted that AAU is the only university in the country without a governing council.

The zonal coordinator of the Benin zone of ASUU, Professor Monday Igbafen, who briefed the press, said in the past three years the affairs of the institution is being run by a strange body supposedly playing the role of a governing council.

The Special Intervention Team, SIT, was set up in 2021 and headed by Andrew Olotu to help advance the government’s vision to reposition the institution to meet global standards.

Correspondent reported that Governor Obaseki, spoke on constituting a new governing council for the university when he received the SIT’s end of tenure report, at the Government House in Benin City on Friday.

Obaseki, who reaffirmed the government’s commitment to repositioning the institution to meet global standards, added that the new governing council would take over from the outgoing SIT.

He commended the team for their commitment towards reviving the institution within a short time, reassuring that the new council to be inaugurated to take over from the SIT will continue on the trajectory of progress established by the team.

“I express my profound gratitude and appreciation to the chairman and members of the SIT for the great success recorded in your job despite the circumstances with which we decided to put up the SIT.

“The school had almost collapsed as the choices before us were limited. It was either to close or restart the institution. We had to get a team of reputable individuals to look at how to restart the institution. We thank God for finding people like you who agreed to help out.

“Look at its ranking 40 years ago. We were amongst national and international universities, compared to where we are today. I am glad you have done your bid to stem the rot to make the school look like an institution again. There is still lots of work today.

“I want the full report submitted as I am going to appoint a council for the school that will take off from where you stopped. I will make sure they see the report, implement the recommendations that are contained in your report and follow up with most of the initiatives you have started,” he said.

Earlier, the chairman of the SIT, Andrew Olotu,

commending Governor Obaseki for his support towards the success of their tenure, noted that the past 36 months on the task was daunting and challenging.

On his part, Austin Osakue, a member of the SIT, who delivered the report of the team highlighted achievements in the 10 areas of reference for the team.

Osakue said the school currently has 1,715 staff while 625 pensioners have been cleared as of May 2024.

He added that salaries take N330.4 million while N72.3 million is for pension which is being paid regularly.

He also added that the institution paid its outstanding loans of N400 million as well as outstanding eight months salaries.

Osakue, who also stated that the university has N84 million in savings for the smooth take-off of the contributory pension, added that it requires government subvention which must be towards capital intervention.

He explained that adhoc staffing has been abolished in the university while qualified indigenes are engaged as full staff to fill identified gaps in the school.

He added that a university work study program has been initiated and running, while EdoHIS is now operational for all students of the institution.

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