The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) says it has never made any payment to former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, for services he renders to the institution as one of its facilitators.
The university was reacting to a story in a national newspaper which reported on Wednesday that the former President earned N40,000 per annum as NOUN lecturer.
NOUN’s Director of Media and Publicity, Ibrahim Sheme, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, explained that the story emanated from the press conference the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdalla Adamu, addressed on Tuesday, ahead of the 8th Convocation Ceremony of the institution scheduled for March 23.
Sheme, quoting the NOUN’s Registrar, Mr Felix Edoka, said, “Whilst 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 vice chancellor had told the gathering of journalists and NOUN staff present at the conference that the University had offered the former a facilitation appointment, the honorarium mentioned in the newspaper publications is the generic amount the University issues in the appointment letters of all facilitators.
“Obasanjo, in his acceptance letter to the University, however, decided to render his services on a pro bono basis, that is free of charge.”
He added that Adamu never said at the press conference that Obasanjo had taken or intended to take a kobo as payment or salary for his services.
The Registrar said that Adamu was emphatic about the magnanimity of the former President and elder statesman in offering his valuable time to work for NOUN at its Study Centre in Abeokuta, Ogun State, as a facilitator on a part-time basis and free of charge.
“For the records, therefore, we wish to clarify that Obasanjo is offering his services as a facilitator to NOUN absolutely free of charge and with no any strings attached.
”Obasanjo 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,” Sheme quoted the Registrar as saying.
The Registrar expressed the university’s regret over the inconveniences and embarrassment the newspaper publications caused to the former president.