Godwin Obaseki, Edo governor, has signed a bill that grants powers to the visitor at Ambrose Alli University (AAU) to intervene in any crisis being experienced within the state-owned institution.
Staff unions had earlier called on the state government to save them from economic hardship by ensuring adequate funding of the varsity to pay months of outstanding salaries that had triggered industrial action by AAU’s academic staff.
According to NAN, Obaseki also decried unmet performance standards in AAU while pointing out the need for “a proper governance structure, accountability, and transparency in the management of the affairs” of the varsity.
After the signing of the bill on Monday, the governor stated that his administration would take steps to reposition the AAU.
“I want to thank you for the support you have shown by passing the amendment to the Ambrose Alli University act of 1999, empowering the visitor to intervene with the aim of repositioning AAU,” he said.
“Just like all of us in Edo have witnessed the sad and unfortunate situation that has engulfed the state university which emblazed that trail in terms of academic excellence in this country when it was established 40 years ago.
“Unfortunately in the last decade or so, the performance of our university has fallen below expectations of our founding fathers and our own expectations.”
The governor also assured members of the Edo house of assembly and people of the state that he would do everything within his powers to undertake a thorough cleansing of the institution.
“With the amendment that you have graciously enacted, the visitor now has the full authority without the encumbrance of the law to now undertake a surgical cleansing of our university,” Obaseki added.
“Be rest assured that we will take all the required positive steps to reposition AAU to become that centre of learning which our founding fathers meant it to be.
“We are going to put in place a proper governance structure, accountability, and transparency in the management of the affairs of the Ambrose Alli University, that university is our pride.”
Marcus Onobun, the speaker of the Edo house of assembly, had earlier said that they were in the government house to present a special intervention bill before Obaseki.
“We are here this evening to present a special intervention bill, conferring the powers of special intervention on the Ambrose Alli University,” he said.
“The bill was passed this afternoon by the seventh assembly conferring on you the visitor of the Ambrose Alli University to intervene in the crisis that is rocking the university.
“Members looked at the bill extensively, they all spoke in its favour with the hope and belief in your ability to intervene and bring about serious educational reforms that will make the university a very competitive one in sub-Sahara region.”
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