The attention of the Management of Federal University Lokoja has been drawn to reports in a number of news papers concerning the action taken by some members of ASUU (FUL Chapter) on Tuesday, January 16th, 2018. The Management is compelled to respond to the misinformation and misrepresentation as contained, therein.
The University Management remains clearly focused in its drive to push the University to her full potentials and therefore recognises the collective efforts of both staff and students in this noble task. Thus, Management wants to correct the impression being created in some quarters that issues concerning staff welfare are taken for granted or neglected.
- Promotion exercise of 2016 and its arrears: The promotion has been concluded and letters of promotion have been issued except for those whose submissions need external assessment. The payment of the arrears is in purview of the Federal Government of Nigeria. The University has taken a queue among other universities in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) and it is expected that the payment will be made, when the fund is released. So, it is not true that there has been no promotion since 2016, as reported.
- Upgrade of Lecturers who have earned higher degrees: The routine procedure is that any Lecturer who has obtained a further requisite degree, should apply to the office of the Registrar of the University for upgrading and updating. We are not aware of any case where a Graduate Assistant has routed such an application and was not processed or denied. Therefore, it is not true that Graduate Assistants in the employment of the University who have earned Masters Degrees are not being upgraded to their deserving positions, as reported.
- Direct Teaching and Laboratory Cost (DTLC): Again, releasing this fund has been highly prioritised by the Management of the University since the inception of this Administration. But in accessing this fund, due process must be followed; the application must be submitted with the minutes of the meeting in which the Departmental Committee on DTLC deliberated and itemised the needs of the Department concerned at any point in time. The application for the release of subsequent funds must be accompanied by the Clearance of Retirement of the previous expenditures issued by the Bursary. If any Department has not been accessing these funds, it could be that such a Department has not been following this procedure, and not that the University Management has out rightly refused to release the Departmental running cost, as reported.
- TETFund Sponsorship: The Academics of the Federal University Lokoja have not been marginalized and deprived of benefiting from TETFund sponsorship, as reported. To the best of our knowledge, all TETFund monies approved have been paid, except for those whose approval came in December of 2017. The delay in the payment of this set has been due to the ongoing strike by the various non-academic unions.
The Management had also written in reply to their several letters, and as well, their Congress resolutions contrary to the claims that the Management has not been engaging the Union in dialogue nor responding to their letters on some of their resolutions. As a demonstration of our commitment to ensuring industrial harmony, Management had on several occasions, invited the Executive members of the Union for dialogue. Indeed, on Monday the 15th of January, 2018, the Management also met with the Executive members of the Union, where these issues were exhaustively discussed and amicably resolved.
In conclusion, the Management of Federal University Lokoja wants to assure all its staff and students of her commitment to creating an atmosphere that is conducive for the flourishing of academic and intellectual activities. However, creating and sustaining such space is dependent on the existence of peace on campus. This should be our collective effort.
Federal University Lokoja,
Lokoja, Kogi State.