The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) has apologized to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, saying his services are absolutely free of charge.
Recall Obasanjo demanded an apology from the Vice-Chancellor, NOUN, Prof Abdalla Adamu, for claiming that he receives N40, 000 salary a year as NOUN lecturer.
Obasanjo said it was embarrassing and mischievous to say he receives salary from the institution, demanding an apology from the office of the VC.
The Director of Media and Publicity, Mr Ibrahim Sheme, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, explained that the story emanated from a news conference held by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, on Tuesday, ahead of the university’s 8th Convocation Ceremony slated for Saturday.
He said “While we remain grateful to all the media houses that give our activities positive coverage, we insist that their news reports should always be accurate and diligent.
“While it is true that the VC had told the gathering of journalists and NOUN staff present at the conference that the university had offered the former President, His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo a facilitation appointment.
“The honorarium mentioned in the newspaper publications is the generic amount the university issued in the appointment letters of all facilitators.”
Sheme said that Obasanjo in his acceptance letter to the university, however, decided to render his services on a pro bono basis, i.e. free of charge.
He denied that Prof. Adamu ever said at the event that the former president had taken or intended to accept any payment or salary for his services, adding that the school was obliged about Obasanjo’s magnanimity in offering his valuable time to work at its Study Centre in Abeokuta, Ogun, as a facilitator on a part-time basis.
“For the records, therefore, we wish to clarify that His Excellency, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, is offering his services as a facilitator to NOUN absolutely free of charge and with no strings attached.
“The former President told the university that his decision was premised on the fact that he is giving back to the society out of the great bounties God and the university have given him.
“For this laudable and patriotic gesture of his, we remain immensely indebted to the former President and elder statesman,” the university said.
The Registrar, Mr. Felix Edoka, also expressed the university’s regret over the inconveniences and embarrassment the newspaper publications might have caused to him.