The committee of Vice Chancellors of Federal Universities in the country has denied allegations of offering bribes to members of the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee investigating job racketeering in federal agencies to obtain favour.
The Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos Professor Ishaya Tanko, who spoke on behalf of the vice-chancellors when they appeared before the committee, said the universities are suffering from serious manpower shortage and are not able to replace experienced staff and Professors who are daily exiting the system
He explained that the money sent by some Vice Chancellors to a designated account was not meant for members of the committee, but to procure foreign exchange for them to attend a workshop organised for them in Birmingham, the United Kingdom beginning from Tuesday, September 5.
“During our last meeting, we requested for two weeks because some of the universities did not come with some of the documents required from them.
“What I recalled happened was that the next day after our meeting, there was a workshop for the Vice Chancellors and because there is another international workshop organised for CVCNU, I recalled that a number of people were looking for estacode in the form of foreign exchange that will enable them to travel.
“I also remember that a number of Vice Chancellors were looking for where to get a foreign exchange which is reasonable considering the fact that it is difficult to get BTA to travel. I can confirm that the majority of the Vice Chancellors are going to travel between Saturday and Monday because the training is commencing on Tuesday in Birmingham, the United Kingdom.
According to him, more than five programmes of the University of Jos are in danger of not receiving accreditation because of the issue of employment.
Prof. Tanko said the university system in the country is facing a major crisis as a result of lack of employment, but expressed their commitment to working together to ensure that the University system continues to stand on the integrity and mandate for which it was created.
The acting Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), John Maiyaki, said the publication of the bribery allegations was regrettable.
He said however that the University community will not allow the publication to affect what he described as strategic relationship and partnership existing between them and the National Assembly.
The chairman of the committee, Yusuf Adamu Gagdi said the committee has resolved that it will not be distracted from the central issue they were put in place to address.
He said it is not the mandate of the committee to investigate the allegations but to investigate the selling of slots, employment imbalance, job racketeering, and many other fraudulent activities that are being done in the public service.
Gagdi however, said that the committee has written the anti-corruption agencies to investigate the link between the account and any member of the committee.
He disclosed that members of the committee have resolved to take legal action if an investigation by the anti-graft agencies failed to link the account number to any member of the committee.