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    Thursday, January 19, 2023

    Overall Best UNILAG PhD Graduand Urges FG to Pay ASUU’s Withheld Salaries

    The overall best PhD graduand and mechanical engineering lecturer at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Dr Ahmed Yinusa, on Wednesday, called on the Federal Government to, without further delay, pay the withheld eight months’ salaries of public university workers including lecturers to them.

    He appealed publicly as a valedictorian of the UNILAG’s 2021 postgraduate graduating set at their convocation ceremony, which was the 53rd edition held on campus and with the representative of President Muhammadu Buhari, Dr Chris Mayaki, who is the deputy executive secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), in attendance.

    He said the unpaid salaries had taken a huge toll on both his immediate and extended families particularly during the eighth month’s industrial action by the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) when he had to contend with many financial challenges such as payment of rent, children school fees, feeding and hospital bill for his aged mother, who was down with a serious ailment.

    According to him, it was a tough time financially for me and my family during the ASUU strike as I had no money to meet many important and unavoidable commitments.

    “So, I will appeal to the Federal Government to pay the withheld salaries not only to the lecturers but to all university workers, who are being owed,” he said.

    Yinusa, who also graduated as the overall second best in his department at the undergraduate level in 2014 and now with the best PhD Thesis in Science, however, thanked his lecturers, project supervisors,  and his wife and other family members for their support during his studies, saying he would certainly do better in class and other endeavours with his new academic attainment.

    In his remark in an interview at a sideline, the oldest graduand at the event, an 83- year-old journalist, Dr Dayo Duyile, said with his new academic attainment, he is now fulfilled as a journalist.

    He said it took him about 40 years to achieve the dream of becoming a doctoral degree holder in Mass communication.

    He said he was longing to go for his PhD programme just after his master’s degree when he was 35 years old but for some reasons including the time factor that prevented him from doing so all along.

    “But I thank God for making the dream a reality now and I will  continue to study and become a professor.”

    Dr Duyile had worked in various media organisations in Nigeria including Nigerian Tribune and Daily Times and he is currently a lecturer, researcher, journalist and book writer.

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