A Good Governance Advocate, Mr Toyin Dawodu, has berated the University of Lagos for alleged delay in issuance of certificates to more than 13,000 graduates of the institution.
Dawodu, a Nigerian- American Philanthropist, at a zoom news briefing in Abuja on Thursday urged the authority to immediately issue certificates to the ex-students, who graduated since 2019.
The advocate, who claimed that delay had always been the trend of graduates getting their certificate after two or three years of graduation, urged leaders to look into the challenge of the university to forestall future re-occurrence.
He said that the graduating students, especially the medical students, were unable to practice their profession because they could not tender their certificates to the medical board.
“ I am particularly concerned about medical students, who are unable to secure employment or attend the mandatory NYSC because they could not present a graduating certificate to the education board to obtain licenses.
“This problem has existed for over 15 months and not a single leader or person has thought it painful enough to do something about it.
“How can a student be in school for seven years and come out without a certificate? This is the beginning of our advocacy.
“The situation was so disheartening to me I could hardly sleep. We demand that Nigeria leaders should do the needful as it affects the future of the students.
“Anything that affects one Nigerian affects every Nigerian, so don’t look the other way because it is not affecting you,” he said.
Dawodu added that the delay in issuing the certificate was costly and also against the progress of the graduates while calling on authorities concerned to look into it.
Also, Mr Frank Tietie, Executive Director, Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER) said that a letter was written to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu dated April 6 but yet to receive any reply.
Tietie added that another letter was also written to the school’s authority on April 20 but was briefed that the pandemic occasioned by COVID-19 was responsible for the delay.
“We understand that the university has made efforts that a number of graduates were able to go for the mandatory NYSC and housemanship for the medical students.
“But the medical council has refused to recognise the students as medical doctors because of no certificate.
“We also received reports during our findings that the delay had always been the trend of graduates getting their certificate after two or three years of graduation,” he said.
Tietie, therefore, said that it was obvious that COVID-19 could only delay convocation but not delay the issuance of certificates.
He said that the universities should be made to pay for delay in the issuance of certificates to students.
“The medical graduates of UNILAG are suffering from negligence on the part of the school management and council.
“We will take a lawsuit against the school and we hope others will learn from this. This will improve governance service delivery in the country,” he added.