The Federal University Ndufu-Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State on Wednesday, 19th April, 2017 started a certificate verification exercise to ascertain the authenticity of academic qualifications of its staff.

This followed the directive of the Governing Council that the academic claims of all staff of the University be verified in other to ensure that the institution’s motto of excellence and integrity is entrenched in every facets of the University life.

The exercise is also geared towards ensuring that the culture of authenticity which the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba is preaching for the overall development of the University is achieved through the combined efforts of Management and competent staff.

A staff of the Council Affairs Unit presenting her certificates to the Committee for verification

Since the announcement of the exercise and its commencement yesterday, mixed reaction has continued to trail the exercise. While most of the staff see it as a welcome development in the drive to move the University forward and ensure it attains its vision of world class status, some were apprehensive about the outcome of the exercise.

Giving insight on the rationale for embarking on the exercise, the Chairman of the Certificate Verification Committee and Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Sunday Elom explained that the exercise was not targeted at specific individuals, rather the University wants to determine the genuineness or otherwise of the certificates of its staff, and fish out those who might have gained employment in the University with fake credentials, in other to place the institution in the right pedestal for improved productivity.

Chairman of the Certificate Verification Committee, Professor Sunday Elom, giving insight on purpose of the exercise while a member of the Committee, Dr. Omaka N. Omaka listens with keen interest

“We are here to authenticate the authenticity of our staff’s certificates

“There are those with forged certificates who entered the institution through the back door. We want to fish out those ones”, Prof. Elom stated.

In his own submission, a member of the Committee and the Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Prof. Jonny Ogunji asked rhetorically ‘why the panic and resentment among some staff?’ describing the exercise as ‘just a verification of claims’ and not a witch hunt.

The Acting Director of SERVICOM, Mr. Friday Onwumere on his part said that there was no cause for alarm, remarking “they are in order” and Amah Omaha whose certificates were verified yesterday (Wednesday) lent credence to the exercise saying “it’s a normal thing in institutions especially Universities.”

Ag. Director of SERVICOM, Mr. Friday Onwumere and his team was also ground to authenticate staff attendance to work for the Committee

In a related development, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), FUNAI chapter has thrown their weight behind the exercise. The Chairman of the association, Comrade Emmanuel Chigbata said that they were in full support of the exercise if it will keep the University on the right track.

The verification exercise is billed to end on 4th May, 2017.

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