The decision of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) to confer the chair of Cyber Security to the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, is now being examined by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
ASUU president Professor Emmanuel Osodeke said Monday while briefing reporters in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He noted that FUTO’s controversial appointment of Pantami followed advertisements in some national newspapers on September 2, 2020, which resulted in Pantami running for the position and subsequently being given the position.
Expressing disappointment at the issues, the president of the ASUU noted that the minister was only promoted to the rank of lecturer 1 in 2013 before leaving the country.
According to him, the minister would have skipped three positions – Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor and Professor – with each of the requirements of at least three years of experience.
Professor Osodeke said information at his disposal revealed that the minister resigned from Abubakar Tafewa Balewa University, Bauchi in 2015 and moved to a Saudi Arabian university as an Assistant Professor, which is the equivalent of an Assistant Lecturer in Nigeria.
According to Osodeke, Pantami left the academician to become director general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in 2016.
“There are serious doubts and unanswered questions that border Dr. Isa Pantami’s qualification for the position,” he said.
“The attention of the ASUU was drawn to the controversy generated by the recent appointment of Dr. Isa Pantami, the current Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as Professor of Cyber Security at the Federal University of Technology Owerri, ”he said.
“From 2013 to 2016 when he stopped being an academician it was only three years, which means that if Futo said he was right, it means that the man went from Lecturer 1 to Professor within three years, which is against all the rules.
“In view of the above and having rejected the report of the FUTO Committee, NEC has established an independent committee to go to FUTO to thoroughly investigate and obtain all the data so that it can be put to the public, the role of FUTO on how this person who spent three years during the Lecturer 1 and the Professor, as he became a professor. “
The president of the ASUU assured Nigerians that the outcome of the investigation would be made public.