Richard Ginika Izuora
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has commenced a probe process to determine the appointment of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami as a Professor of Cyber Security, by the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO).
ASUU President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke said on Monday, November 15; in Abuja, that the body will inaugurate a committee to probe the appointment.
He noted that the 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.
The ASUU President noted that the Minister was only promoted to the rank of Lecturer 1 in 2013; before he left the country but allegedly skipped three positions – Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor, and Professor; with each having at least three years experience requirements.
“Information 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.
“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.
“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.
“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,” he said.
He assured that the outcome of the probe would be made public.