From Success Damian
Management of Lagos State University (LASU) has refuted the claim in an online publication alleging that the institution is extorting millions of Naira from the 2019/2020 graduates in the name of COVID-19 protocol,
In a press statement signed by Ademola Adekoya, Coordinator, Centre for Information, Press and Public Relations, (CIPPR) Lagos State University, the allegation ostensibly was referring to the University’s directive for recent graduates to apply for and collect their certificates via courier service, as part of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The release pointed out that two allegations were made in the ‘overtly malicious publication’ that needs to be addressed in order to set the records straight.
“Two allegations were made in the overtly malicious publication. The allegation that the University is extorting millions of naira from the graduates without delivering their certificates via courier as promised and the allegation that COVID-19 guidelines and protocols were disregarded in the process of issuing certificates to the graduates on the university campus.”
In making the clarification, the statement said that the allegation of extortion by the University is not only mischievous and malicious, but also misleading.
“The writer’s ill-intent in publishing the story is obvious in the face of the facts that the innovative and proactive step by the University to forestall the outbreak/spread of covid-19 on her campus informed the directive to students, months ago, precisely around October 2020, to apply for their certificates and have them delivered via courier.”
It further read “Contrary to the falsehood/claim that the University did not send the certificates for those who had paid for the delivery, we confirm that a good number of graduates have received their certificates via courier and those of other applicants are also being processed for delivery.”
The statement also maintained that most of the applicants would have had their certificates delivered to them if not for the three weeks JAC National Industrial Action in the universities that delayed the processing.
Putting the record straight, the statement further disclosed that on getting wind of the report that the NYSC camp would soon open, some applicants who were yet to receive their certificates, turned up at the University campus eager to physically collect their certificates, saying that some graduates from previous sets who are not affected by the development also came down adding to the number.
The statement disclosed that the officials at the Certificate Office were left with no other option than to attend to those affected in order that they might meet up with the NYSC camp deadline.
It maintained that the above clarification has become germane to reiterate the fact that the University did not extort her graduates as alleged. “Many graduates have received their certificates through courier and those who are yet to, are the ones on campus and are being attended to by officials of the Certificate Office.
“On the disregard for COVID-19 guidelines, it is imperative to state that the University takes the enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines seriously, hence the directive for certificate collection through courier service in the first place. This is also evidenced in the fact that the use of facemask is compulsory to gain entrance into her campus and facilities within it, as is the washing of hands.”
It further stated that the enforcement of the guidelines is only effective when complemented with the act of taking personal responsibility. “It is on record that LASU is one of the first Universities in Nigeria to establish and enforce clearly defined COVID-19 prevention policies, allegations to the contrary, in this case, is therefore untrue and should be disregarded.
“As a University, the safety of our staff, students and visitors remain a priority just as our commitment to upholding accountability and standards of service delivery remains strong,” the statement read.