The House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee looking into employment racketeering in federal agencies has been accused of accepting payments from the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Federal Universities in exchange for favors.
The Vice Chancellors stated in a statement released on Friday that they were eagerly expecting the committee’s work to be finished because they were confident it would help them handle the problem of a labor shortage in universities.
When the vice chancellors appeared before the committee, University of Jos Vice Chancellor Professor Ishaya Tanko spoke on their behalf. He said that the money sent by some vice chancellors was intended for a foreign exchange so they could attend an international workshop organized for them in Birmingham, United Kingdom, beginning on Tuesday, September 5. He also said that the publisher did not have his facts straight.
“At our most recent meeting, we asked for an extension of two weeks because some colleges had failed to bring all of the essential documentation.
However, we have read the extremely upsetting media report, and I can confirm that the Vice Chancellors are not involved. No one has received a bribe from the vice chancellors.
“What I remembered was that there was a session for the vice chancellors the following day, and because a different international workshop was organized for CVCNU, I remembered that some people were looking for estacode in the form of foreign exchange that will allow them to go.
“I also recall that several vice chancellors were looking for places to get affordable foreign exchange because it is challenging to get DTA to travel. Because the training starts on Tuesday in Birmingham, I can affirm that the majority of the vice chancellors will travel between Saturday and Monday.
“Someone suggested that individual and indicated that Vice Chancellors who wanted to gain foreign exchange from him might send him some money to get foreign exchange for traveling.
“It is utterly out of context and untrue to claim that vice chancellors are transferring money for bribes. The author of the publication refused to verify the information before going to print. They ought to have gotten in touch with a few of the Vice Chancellors to ask them why they made those transfers.
“As we speak, I can tell you that more than five programs of the University of Jos are in danger of losing accreditation due to this employment issue. I want to reassure the committee that we have hope and confidence in this committee.
So, he stated, “we are anticipating the conclusion of this committee’s work so that the issues relating to employment in Nigerian universities are addressed so that we can continue to supply the high-caliber labor we need for the development of this country.”
John Maiyaki, the acting executive secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), expressed regret over the publication of the bribery allegations while pointing out that the NUC has faith in the committee’s authority to assist in resolving certain crises in the education sector related to job racketeering.
Regardless of the content, he said, “Chair, Honorable members the online social media publishing is unfortunate, and we do not in any way wish that this will impede on the good linkages and relationship between this important branch of government and the Nigerian university system. The Nigerian university system has a lot to gain from this arrangement.
We believe the task is too enormous for one subsector to handle alone, which is why we look up to the National Assembly and also up to the future in order to jointly create that opportunity that will change the game for the nation. University systems occupy a special place in the life of every nation.
Hon. Yusuf Adamu Gagdi, the committee’s chairman, declared that the committee has decided not to get sidetracked from the main problem we were formed to examine.
He said that the publication was meant to divert the committee’s emphasis away from its intended task, adding, “As far as we are concerned, we maintained our view that it is a sponsored magazine so that this committee will lose focus from what it is supposed to achieve.
He claimed that the committee’s task was to look into the allegations rather than the slot selling, unequal employment, job racketeering, and several other fraudulent practices that are taking place in our public sector.
However, he added that the committee had written to the EFCC and anti-corruption organizations to request that they look into any connections between the account and any committee members.
He revealed that if an inquiry by the anti-graft agency failed to connect the account number to any committee member, the members had decided to file a lawsuit.