Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
The Governing Council and Management of the Niger Delta University (NDU), Bayelsa, wednesday said they were considering the redeployment or outright disengagement of at least 1,700 non-academic staff at the state-owned institution as part of the ongoing reforms in the state.
The Chairman of the Governing Council, Prof. Steve Azaiki, who made the declaration, while speaking with newsmen shortly after a meeting between Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson and stakeholders in Yenagoa, insisted that the ongoing public service reforms were intentioned.
Azaiki, who expressed the NDU Governing Councilâ€™s readiness to implement the governmentâ€™s decision to sanitise the public service, noted that the practice where the University solely depended on the state government to fund its â€œover-bloated,â€ workforce was unsustainable.
According to him, it was the leadership of the University that listed the affected staff following the outcome of a discreet verification to make for more efficiency, better service delivery as well as create space for the employment of young qualified people, especially people from the state.
â€œThe amount of money that government has been giving to NDU is not sustainable. Suppose oil price falls or there are issues of governance or politics. Anything can happen and then the university will collapse. So, we need to look inwards and see how we can come up with a sustainable figure.
â€œWe are going to look at the list again especially in the case of NDU. We provided to the government, 1,700 non-academic staff that we think should be redeployed or should be disengaged by the institution to make sure that the policy of government is effective.
â€œHowever, one of the key things the governor said in the meeting, is that, there could be need for us to reabsorb most of these people. So, council will meet and review the list, and we will come up with a solution on how best we can help our own people.
â€œAfter all, some of them are due for retirement, some are incompetent while others are facing disciplinary actions. So, we will make separate recommendations for all the cases because I believe that the governor is ready to accommodate Bayelsans in our system. So there is no need for people to take laws into their hands.â€
Also speaking, the Acting Vice Chancellor of NDU, Prof Samuel Edoumiekumo described rumours making the rounds that the university had increased its school fees as malicious.
According to the vice chancellor, returning students in management and social sciences, education are paying N35, 000, while their counterparts in the medical sciences pay N45, 000 as against the N230, 000 and N250,000 reported in a section of the media.
He warned that any student who failed to pay his or her fees within the stipulated period of payment would be sanctioned accordingly.