Fred Ezeh, Abuja, with agency report
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has faulted claims by the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) that it pays him an annual allowance of N45, 000, for his role as its facilitator.
The former president is a lecturer or facilitator at the Abeokuta campus of the university.
On Tuesday, Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, said Obasanjo was being paid N40,000 annually, as an allowance for being a facilitator of the university.
“Obasanjo’s allowance is N40,000 a year and he is happy being our facilitator…” he said
Yesterday, Obasanjo faulted Adams’ claim, and insisted he renders services to the university pro bono.
The former president is thus demanding Adams retracts the statement and offer him an apology.
In a statement by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, the former president said “the very clear quotation of the vice chancellor made it necessary for him to make the clarification and to set the records straight on his engagement with the university.
“In putting the records in right perspective, His Excellency wishes to draw the attention of the vice chancellor to his April 12, 2018 letter, which was written to the Registrar, Mr. Felix Edoka, when the Council offered him a part-time appointment as an Instructional/Tutorial Facilitator and Project Supervisor in the Faculty of Arts at the Abeokuta Study Centre.”
Obasanjo recalled that specifically in paragraph 3 of the letter, he wrote: “I will gladly undertake any of the functions mentioned in paragraph two of your letter pro bono (free of charge) and I hope that the functions will be flexible enough to accommodate my rather tight schedule.”
The former president insisted he has not received a dim; either as salaries or otherwise from the university. Obasanjo said he had stated in his letter that the appointment was received with “pleasure and duty to give back to others, out of what God and NOUN have given me.”
He said the statement by the university’s vice-chancellor was embarrassing to him, as “the publication, which has generated mixed reactions from the public and calls from far and near on the elder statesman expressing concern, is, to say the least, uncharitable, mischievous and in bad taste, with immediate demand for a retraction and apology from the Office of the Vice-Chancellor,” he said.
Meanwhile, NOUN has temporarily suspended admission of undergraduate students into its Law programme.
The institutition said the decision does not invalidate previous certificates, but was to afford it the opportunity to conclude discussions and negotiation with the Council for Legal Education and other relevant government agencies as regards the participation of its graduates in law school.Adamu, who announced the decision at a pre-convocation press conference in Abuja, on Tuesday, explained that students currently studying the course in NOUN campuses would not be affected by the decision.
He confessed that NOUN has received impressive applications from interested students, following President Buhari’s recent decision to endorse the changes made in