The Executive Director, Prof. Obiajulu Emejulu, recently received in his office the newly elected executive of the Academic Staff Association of NINLAN (ASAN). The officers were formally presented to the ED by their Chairman, Dr. Famous Imu, following an election conducted by an Electoral Committee chaired by Prof. Ngozi Ijioma, which had Dr. Ugochi Ikonne and Dr. Umefien Epepe as members.
Dr. Imu told the ED that the group was in his office to show him courtesy, and promised the association would do its best to support management in its efforts to lift the Institute higher.
Welcoming the ASAN Executive, Prof. Emejulu congratulated them on their election. But he counselled them to see the group as an Association and not Union, to avert legal scuffles that might occur in response to their earlier presented name, Academic Staff Union of NINLAN (ASUN).
The ED urged the academic staff association to contribute actively toward the endeavours of his Administration to offset the many obstacles put on the way of the Institute.
Prof. Emejulu cited the issue of the exclusion of Academic Staff of NINLAN and other Inter-University Centres from the mainstream Union of University Academic Staff – by ASUU, and said “the reason they gave are not cogent. Each time we raise the issue of our membership of ASUU and inclusion in TEFFund, they say ASUU bye-law considers NINLAN as a monotechnic”.
But the ED does not agree with that: “An Institute established by the Federal Government to produce teachers of Nigerian languages at all levels of education cannot be called a monotechnic. By virtue of Nigeria’s multilingualism and our about 450 languages (that NINLAN is meant to cater for). We cannot be talking of a monotechnic”.
Prof. Emejulu had other grounds for rejecting the ASUU monotechnic tag:
- The National Universities Commission (NUC) oversees NINLAN as well as the Universities; and
- NINLAN’s Conditions of Service are the same as those of Universities.
He posited that “this Institute is a very vital institution in Nigerian educational system… Our Act puts us under the NUC, and the NUC takes care of the Universities. How then do you say we are a monotechnic, and deny us rights and privileges of the Universities?”
Prof. Emejulu urged ASAN to work very hard to see that the Institute takes its rightful place in the University System.
On their personal career front, the ED urged the academics to work hard, learn the ropes and seize every opportunity to assume responsibilities. Hear him: “The more you take responsibility (accept assignments), the more you learn, and the more you become indispensable. Leaders want to solve problems, and want people who will help them solve the problems”.