THE Vice Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Professor Peters Olufemi, says the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Nigeria, Sir Monday Onyeme, was never involved in any malfeasance when he was bursar at the institution.
Olufemi made the clarification on Thursday when he led the management staff of the NOUN on a courtesy visit to Onyeme at his office, Government House, Asaba.
Responding to a question by journalists on whether a panel was set up for Sir Onyeme which led to his suspension or dismissal while at NOUN, Prof Olufemi said, “there was never a time when a panel was set up by anybody concerning Sir Monday Onyeme or, indeed, the bursary department of the university.
“I have been in that university before Onyeme; I am a pioneer staff of the National Open University of Nigeria and I am quite familiar with all the things that happened there.
“Sir Monday Onyeme, as we know him at the University, left with the Leave of Absence to be the Chairman, Delta State Board of Internal Revenue (DBIR), and at the appropriate time, when he was sure he was not coming back, he requested to be taken off duties.
“These records are there; he was never involved in any malfeasance either in terms of his professional field which is Accounting, Bursary or in behavioural relationship with anybody.
“He remains one of the great exponents from the National Open University of Nigeria, and indeed, if it was true that there was anything like that, the whole management team of the National Open University of Nigeria, led by myself, the Vice Chancellor, would not come here.
“We came to rejoice with him in order to show appreciation that NOUN produces worthy people, both our students, and our staff members; we have been here since yesterday and we will be going back to Abuja tomorrow.
“We are very glad to have Sir Onyeme as a member of the executive team of Delta State.”
Earlier in his address, NOUN Vice Chancellor, Prof Olufemi, had acknowledged the financial management skills, budgeting ability, and genuine concern for the welfare of staff of the institution by Onyeme.
He said: “as the Chief Financial Officer of the university, you brought into the role, strong financial management skills and a very pragmatic and practical approach to the management of cash flow processes, procedures and budget preparation.
“Beyond the realm of financial management, you demonstrated a genuine concern for staff welfare and provided assistance that reverberated throughout our community till date.”
He commended the Delta State government for creating the enabling environment for NOUN to operate in the state.
“We thank the Delta State Government for the enabling environment that ensured that NOUN had a strong footing in Delta and also for the invaluable support rendered to our Study Centres in all these locations; these supports include the tarring of access roads and the construction of perimeter fences, both of which have significantly enhanced university
operations at the Asaba Study Centre.
The Deputy Governor, Sir Onyeme, in his remarks, commended the Prof Olufemi and the management staff of the university for the visit.
He acknowledged the importance of the Distance Learning Centre to the development of education by helping to fill the gap in the education industry.
“We know that since the inception of the National Open University of Nigeria in the country, it has contributed immensely towards reducing and bridging the deficiency gap in our education industry,” he enthused.