Twenty 2019 graduates of the Department of Agricultural Economics at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), the capital of Imo State, have condemned the delay in the approval of their results, consequently hindering their mobilization for the compulsory one-year national youth service.
The ex-FUTO students said they were convinced the department was unnecessarily “sitting on their results” despite the university Senate’s initial scrutiny.
They told FJ their results had been vetted by the Senate since mid-March but the department delayed in taking back the results for appropriate corrections until April.
“Usually, the Senate takes about three weeks to vet results,” one of the former students said anonymously.
“Our results were completed in March but the exam officer didn’t go for them. We got to know this when we followed up with the Senate ourselves. We were told that our results were ready and the exam officer knew the protocols to follow to claim the results for departmental corrections.”
Since the results were eventually returned to the department in April, the students said they were unsure if the exam officer had re-submitted them to the Senate for final approval.
“What we all know is that the official Senate meeting where results are mostly approved was in May and our results didn’t make it to that meeting,” another ex-student told FIJ.
“Another batch of NYSC mobilization started in June and our names are still missing. It can only mean that our results were either yet to be sent or sent very late again.
“This is the sixth batch of NYSC mobilization since our graduation but we are still left behind and it looks more intentional than a mistake.”
Apart from 10 graduates of the same department that were ‘luckily’ mobilized in March 2020, FIJ gathered that at least 20 of these graduates with no particular issue are yet to be cleared by the university, although other colleagues from the remaining six departments in the Faculty of the School of Agricultural Technology of the institution have since become corps members.
‘IT’S LIKE HAVING TWO EXTRA YEARS’
Speaking about the consequences of the university’s failure to process their results, one of the ex-students told FIJ: “There is currently no difference between someone who had two extra years and me.
“I have missed several opportunities because I don’t have a certificate. I am just a mere uncertified graduate.”
Apart from the losing job opportunities, another colleague lamented about how the lackadaiscal attitude of the school had retarded his own career growth.
“It is just painful when you realize you didn’t owe the school anything but they are owing you their commitment,” he said.
“It is a breach of contract, if I must say. All my classmates in the same school and colleagues from other schools have started or finished their NYSC programme but here I am, yet to even kickstart my career.”
When FIJ contacted Maduike Ifeanyi, the department’s exam officer, about the issue, he said he would only be able to grant an interview in person.
Upon further insistence, he added that he “would need a clearance from the HOD before granting any interview.
“Besides, each student has a specific issue and you will have to give me the name of the particular student you are making inquiries about so I can tell you the specific reason for the delay.”
Onyeagocha Osuji, the Head of Department, did not want to discuss the matter at all.
“Did I give you an appointment?” he asked. “I cannot speak with you on this. Talk to the Vice-Chancellor.”
Be the first to receive special investigative reports and features in your inbox.