Sunday, March 4, 2012
MOUAU: VC Converts 200 Casual Workers to Permanent Staff After 18 Yrs
The new Vice -Chancellor of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), Professor Hilary Edoga, has announced the conversion of 200 casual workers of the institution into permanent staff after 18 years of much labour with little remuneration.
Edoga who announced this Thursday during a thanksgiving service at the university to mark his first one year in office as VC, said the decision was based on his sympathy for the affected workers who had been subjected to almost slaves with little or nothing to show for it, adding that over 90 percent of the workers were from the host community of Ikwuano.
" They have grand children, and they are paying school fees , and that was why I said they should be employed as permanent staff of the university irrespective of the fact that they are not from my home state of Enugu. They are not from Isiuzo Local Government Area LGA where I come from. In fact, 99 percent of them came from either Ikwuano LGA or Abia state.
"There are some people when they occupy my kind of position, they will go to their village and bring all the people even those with forged certificate. I don't do that . These people have helped to make sure that the university survived, and to push them away and go and bring new people was a crime I refused to commit. And where ever we see a capable hand we bring in to ensure our programmes receive the necessary accreditations. It is university that is supposed to have every body from any part of the world , and not a primary school", he added.
The VC also said the institution had procured Optical Mark Recognition machines to facilitate early marking and release of computer-based examinations, while reaffirming his readiness to embark on any project that will enhance the lots of students .
" I am bound to go into such interventions that will positively affect the lives of students because we are not just producing ordinary graduates, we are producing tomorrow's leaders. And for you to produce a leader, you must equip the leader very well," he said.
Edoga identified some of his outstanding achievements in the past 12 months to include: procurement of nine 60 KVA generating sets for laboratories to facilitate practical and studio activities for students; establishment of a centre for entrepreneurial studies; attraction of N50 million Education Trust Fund for library intervention projects for ;accreditation of MOUAU Accounting Department; granting autonomy to the Admission unit to make room for transparency; and construction and tarring of two -kilometre road on the campus.
Others were establishment of a new College of Agriculture and Science Education; regular payment of staff salaries on or before the 26th day of every month; construction of a new university bookshop and university press; establishment of an international secondary school; establishment of new commercial fish ponds with hatchery; award of contract for the establishment of a commercial piggery farm, among others.
Speaking at the event, former Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), MOUAU, Chapter, Professor Victor Osodeke described the VC as a great achiever, saying he has made unions in the institution redundant through prompt payment of staff salaries and allowances.
In her remarks on behalf of the non-academic staff, Mrs. Udochi Madumere, said Edoga had within his first one year in office sponsored 32 of their members to a conference, the first in the history of the institution as only their academic counterparts had remained the only beneficiaries of such gesture.