Navy debunks report of alleged absurdity in Admiralty University

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Sumaila Ogbaje

The Nigerian Navy has described the report of an alleged absurdity in Admiralty University of Nigeria (ADUN), Ibusa, Delta, as misleading and the handiwork of mischief-makers.

Naval spokesman, Commodore Ayo Vaughan, who debunked the report in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, faulted most of the issues raised in the report.

According to him, the said report revealed the ignorance and unethical tendency of the writer, his sponsors and unpatriotic collaborators.

The director of information, who cleared the air over the ownership status of ADUN, said that Nigeria Navy (NN) bought the interests of Hellenic Education Nigeria Limited (HENL) to convert it to a Public University similar to NDA, and Nigerian Army University.

He, therefore, described as malicious and baseless, allegations claiming that all was not well with the institution, hence the Secretary to the Government of the Federation should cause President Bola Tinubu to intervene and appoint Principal/Management Officers the university.

Vaughan said what the university was in need of was a speedy completion of the processes of its takeover by the Federal Ministry of Education and change of status by NUC.

He the university also needed the constitution of its Governing Council in accordance with Section 9 of the ADUN Establishment Act 2022, not the kind of arbitrary interventions canvassed by the writer.

He explained that ADUN was established in 2017 as a Public Private Partnership between the NN (represented by Navy Holdings Limited (NHL)) and Hellenic Education Nigeria Limited (HENL).

He said that it was issued a provisional licence as a private university by National Universities Commission (NUC) on Dec. 19, 2017, and commenced academic activities in January 2019.

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“Due to irreconcilable differences between the partners, the NHL decided, in the national and public interest, to buy off the interest of HENL and convert it to a public university.

”By mutual consent, NHL and HENL dissolved the partnership on March 21, 2022, and in December 2022, the National Assembly passed a bill to convert the university to a conventional public university.

”This bill was assented to by former President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on Feb. 8, as the Admiralty University of Nigeria, Ibusa (Establishment) Act 2022.

“The change of status of a university from private to public is not an event but a process involving key Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

”In furtherance of this process, NHL has caused multiple high-level engagements between the NN and both the Federal Ministries of Education and Defence as well as the NUC.”

He explained that the Federal Ministry of Education had commenced the process of conversion, but to date it is yet to take the university on strength and the NUC is yet to change its status as a federal public university.

“In the meantime, and in deference to Section 38 of the ADUN Establishment Act 2022, the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) constituted the Transitional Governing Council (TGC) to govern the University before the coming into force of the Act.

“The NN through the NHL is resourcing the university and with the instrumentality of the council, management and leadership has nurtured the university to stability.

“On March 23, the incumbent Vice Chancellor, Prof. Paul Omojo Omaji, applied for a renewal of his appointment for a further period of five years in accordance with his contract.

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”This was in anticipation of the expiration of his tenure on June 30, The TGC on April 14, considered this request for contract renewal but turned it down in view of the transition of the university.

”However, the TGC in its wisdom was unwilling to leave a leadership vacuum in the university.”

According to him, it therefore, in the overall interest of the university, approved a six-month extension of contract during which time the NHL is to intensify efforts to effect the change of status of the university so that necessary actions and due processes can be taken to appoint a substantive Vice Chancellor.

” This approval was endorsed by the CNS who is the de-facto Proprietor on June 9 and re-affirmed by the TGC on June 14.

“The university is currently in a delicate period of transition being midwived by the NN through the NHL.

”This is akin to the transitions of erstwhile military tertiary institutions such as the Nigerian Defence Academy, Air Force Institute of Technology, Kaduna and Nigerian Army University, Biu.

“It is absurd that the writer would refer uncharitably to the former president as ‘not to have given a hoot’ to governance and then advised his successor to arbitrarily intervene in a budding tertiary institution against the spirit and letters of its establishment law.”(NAN)(www. nannews.ng)

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