BY FAVOUR NNABUGWU
…Over lack of laboratory, other facilities
ABUJA—Medical students of the University of Abuja have finally surrendered themselves for transfer to other universities after the institution failed to provide them with medical facilities for their learning.
The students who stormed the Federal Ministry of Education carrying different placards and chanting songs to express their plight, were bent on the intervention of the ministers of education as they refused to be deterred by the presence of security personnel.
President of the university’s medical students, Uchenna Anyanwu in an interview with Vanguard explained that medical students of UniAbuja have been idle in the past three months hence the call on the Federal Government to come to their rescue.
He said, “initially we said no to the transfer option based on the advice we got from the Medical and Dental Association of Nigeria and the VC promised that the facilities will be ready within six months. Already, we have spent over three months without doing anything hence the call for our transfer”.
The permanent secretary of the ministry, Dr Ben Ibeh was barred from entering the ministry’s premises by the students.
Dr Ibeh tried to cajole the angry students by informing them that a 45-man committee had been set up to investigate activities of the university within six weeks, urging the students to exercise patience.
It will be recalled that the needs assessment committee discovered that 100 students studying Veterinary Medicine were been taught by 45 lecturers that have been doing so without a functional laboratory for practicals neither did the programme have the requisite approvals of the National Universities Commission.
Chairman of the team investigating the university, Dr. Mahmood Yakub, attributed the problems to absence of planning. He said programmes were established without accreditation from the NUC and as a result, students cannot graduate.
Yakub said, “government is committed that is why government is saying there will not be additional money committed until we know precisely what we are funding”.
Earlier, the Committee informed that the Veterinary Council of Nigeria which is the regulatory body charged with accrediting such programme insists that such a laboratory did not meet prerequisite for graduating students from such a programme.
This situation, according to the Dean of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Professor Tunde Ajagunna was responsible for the non-graduation of students some of which have been forced to spend 8 years for a programme which should ordinarily run for 5years.
He further explained that there were currently three batches of students in the Faculty now waiting to be graduated.
Efforts by Vanguard to reach the institution’s vice chancellor, Prof Joseph Adelabu has proved abortive.