The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) says it is setting up a committee to probe the circumstances leading to the appointment of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as a Professor of Cyber Security, by the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO)
ASUU President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke stated on Monday while briefing journalists in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He noted that the controversial appointment of Pantami by FUTO followed advertisements in some national dailies on September 2, 2020, which made Pantami purportedly apply for the position and thereafter given the position.
Expressing displeasure over the issues, the ASUU President noted that the Minister was only promoted to the rank of Lecturer 1 in 2013 before he left the country.
According to him, the Minister allegedly skipped three positions – Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor, and Professor – with each having at least three years experience requirements.
Professor Osodeke said that information at his disposal revealed that the Minister resigned from the Abubakar Tafewa Balewa University, Bauchi in 2015 and moved to a university in Saudi Arabia as an Assistant Professor, which is an equivalent of an Assistant Lecturer in Nigeria.
According to Osodeke, Pantami left the academic to become the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in 2016.
“There are serious doubt and unanswered questions bordering on the qualification of Dr. Isa Pantami for the position,” he said.
“The attention of ASUU has been drawn to the controversy generated by the recent appointment of Dr. Isa Pantami, the current Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as a Professor of Cyber Security by the Federal University of Technology Owerri,” he said.
“From 2013 to 2016 when he ceased to be an academic is just three years which means if Futo said he is right, it means the man moved from becoming Lecturer 1 to becoming a Professor within three years which is against all rules.
“In view of the foregoing and having rejected FUTO Committee’s report, NEC set up an independent committee to go to FUTO to investigate fully and get all the data so that we can put it to the public, the role of FUTO on how this person who spent three years during Lecturer 1 and Professor, how did he become a professor.”
The ASUU President assured Nigerians that the outcome of the probe would be made public.