EXCERPTS OF GOV. DICKSON’S MEDIA CHAT FOR NDU AND AFRICAN UNIVERSITY
By: Prosper Yeri Dekumo
Today’s live media chat with Gov. Henry Seriake Dickson which dealt with several issues ranging from the Nembe Crisis, Security Issues, Tribunal Victory, African University and Niger Delta University, Civil servants half salary, Developmental Projects for Second Term and many more.
Some key excerpts from issues affecting educational sector particularly Niger Delta University and African University can be listed as follows:
1. That the government is committed to promoting educational opportunities in the state.
2. That Niger Delta University has been a badly managed Institution therefore there shall be a clean up. That the school employs out of board. That transparency and accountability in the management of the school resources must come to play.
3. That the government has been spending almost 500 million monthly in running NDU for last four years without owing salaries. It is the economy affecting the prompt payment of salaries. That ASUU insists on full salary or nothing without been considerate.
4. That the current financial system in NDU is not sustainable hence there is need for restructuring. That NDU will be fees paying to balance the system.
5. That the establishment of University of Africa does not and will not affect Niger Delta University. It will only promote educational competition in the state. That University of Africa has come to stay and it is real. AIU will be private sector driven with students paying commercial rates for fees but bayelsans will only pay lower rates because of government support. Every faculty of Africa university will be linked to and mentored by a notable international university. The partnership agreements will be signed shortly.
6. That ASUU is not realistic in their demands. They are not more special than every other civil servant accepting half salary. That they are spreading propaganda that its because of NDU that the government is establishing African university. That ASUU was wrong in declaring a strike and keeping the school closed for this long.
7. That the cabal in NDU that has held the school including the VC hostage must get ready to let it go. That NDU must be saved.
8. That a Students Loan Board which will provide loan to students in tertiary institutions will be established to enable them complete their studies and payback.
9. That the government is open to constructive dialogue to solve the lingering crisis in NDU. That the
government has met with the governing council of NDU and told them to go and talk with ASUU.
Therefore, students will have to wait for ASUU to hold their Congress and brief us about their position as well before we can have a possible date of resumption.