The University of Ilorin has started distributing PC tablets to students of the institution who had been made to pay for the items over a year ago, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
The exercise followed a meeting of the university management with student leaders and other stakeholders during which a time-table was agreed for the distribution.
The development came weeks after the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, accused the Vice-chancellor, Abdulganiy Ambali, and his predecessor, Is-haq Oloyede, of fraud. Mr. Oloyede is the current Registrar of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB.
In a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the union, among other allegations, accused the management of extorting the students, citing the tablets as one of the cases.
But in its reaction, the management debunked ASUU’s claim, stating that the delay in the distribution of the computers to students admitted during the 2015/2016 academic session was due to the inability of the contractor to supply the consignment on schedule as a result of foreign exchange challenges.
While commenting on the distribution process, the President of Unilorin Students’ Union, Lukman Shobowale, commended the process, describing it as “satisfactory”.
According to Unilorin bulletin, Mr. Shobowale said that “the Students Union is very excited about the Tab distribution and on a general level the students are also excited about the Tabs they received. It is a dream come true because we have been expecting the Tabs for some
Mr. Shobowale observed that just as the students’ union had insisted, the university management commenced the distribution of the computers with students that did not receive theirs in the previous year.
“The union has been monitoring the distribution of the PC Tablets,” he added.
In his remarks, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), Yusuf AbdulKareem, who personally monitored the distribution exercise, said the university is committed to providing any facility that will aid teaching and learning and will not relent in doing so.
Mr. Abdulkareem said the university was “one of the first, if not the very first, to engage in this type of exercise and that is why we are so committed to ensuring that every beneficiary is given what is required”.
He further stated that those saddled with the responsibility of distributing the items were on their toes to ensure that beneficiaries were given according to the timetable designed for the distribution.
“I have been moving around with the student union leadership to see how things are moving and we are impressed about it,” he said.
On his part, the Director of Academic Planning, Abayomi Omotesho, who is the Chairman of the PC Tablet Distribution Committee, disclosed that the distribution exercise will go on till February 10, stating that the naira-dollar exchange rate, which caused the delay in distributing the computers to the students, had been resolved.
He said all the students will get theirs as scheduled.
Meanwhile, PREMIUM TIMES investigations revealed that unlike in the past when the PC tablets were distributed at the faculty offices of the different faculties in the school, the distribution process is now scheduled on a faculty-by-faculty basis at the Students’ Affairs
This development is considered stressful by many students who could not get their PC tablets after waiting at the Students’ Affairs office for hours.
A student of Faculty of Arts who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES, Tobi Ayanwale, said the distribution system was not convenient for some students.
“Some of us in Arts and Agriculture faculty with huge population do not find this distribution method funny. It is really not too comfortable as you will stand in the sun for hours and may still not be able to collect yours,” he said.
Another student of Faculty of Education, Juliet Eze, said, “The process is a bit stressful. Some students stay at the Students’ Affairs office till 3′ o clock in the afternoon and would still not get theirs. The previous (distribution) system was better.”
Others who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES, however, expressed joy at the development, stressing that they had waited for too long for the moment.
“It’s a cool experience to finally have the Tab. I just received mine on Thursday and I am really happy,” Rasheedat Abdulkareem, a student of the Faculty of Law, said.