UNN Medical Graduates Petition Senate Over Non-Issuance Of Certificates After 4 Years!!!

A group of graduates from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka has petitioned the Senate seeking its following the delay in issuance of certificates to students of the Faculty of Medical Sciences who graduated from the institution five years ago.
The group – The Class of 2009 Faculty of Medical Sciences College of Medicine – is seeking Senate’s intervention in resolving the problem.

The group addressed the petition to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Ache Chukwumerije. A similar one was dispatched to the National Universities Commission (NUC) over their plight.

In the separate letters dated May 5, 2013 signed by Aduaka Paschal and 198 others, which were made available to THE RAINBOW in Enugu, the affected medical doctors appealed for assistance for the release of their certificates by the UNN authority.

The petition reads, ‘We wish to commend your efforts and dynamic leadership in transforming the education sector of our country. We would like to use this opportunity to solicit your assistance in securing the prompt release of our MBBS Degree Certificates. We graduated in December 2009 from the College of Medicine and over three years after graduation, we are still yet to be issued our degree certificates.

‘The convocation ceremony for conferment of our bachelor degree was held in January 2012 and despite the long wait, no certificates were issued at the ceremony. The reason for this anomaly as communicated to the graduands was the university’s decision to set up a committee to look into the irregularities that were noted in first year results of some graduands in the set.

‘The committee has sat for over a year and nothing concrete has been done. No certificates have been issued and all efforts at getting a definite feedback from the school have proved abortive. Job opportunities, Masters Degree Programs and Residency Trainings both home and overseas have been hampered by the absence of degree certificates as part of our credentials. More disappointing is that the current state of affairs has created a falsehood in the authenticity doctors in Nigeria.

‘We, the medical graduates of the University of Nigeria 2009 Class, extend our greetings to you and your good office. We wish to commend your efforts and dynamic leadership in transforming the education sector of our country.

‘We would like to use this opportunity to solicit your assistance in securing the prompt release of our MBBS Degree Certificates. We graduated in December 2009 from the College of Medicine and over three years after graduation, we are still yet to be issued our degree certificates. The convocation ceremony for conferment of our bachelor degree was held in January 2012 and despite the long wait, no certificates were issued at the ceremony. The reason for this anomaly as communicated to the graduands was the university’s decision to set up a committee to look into the irregularities that were noted in first year results of some graduands in the set.

‘The committee has sat for over a year and nothing concrete has been done. No certificates have been issued and all efforts at getting a definite feedback from the school have proved abortive. Job opportunities, Masters Degree Programs and Residency Trainings both home and overseas have been hampered by the absence of degree certificates as part of our credentials. More disappointing is that the current state of affairs has created a falsehood in the authenticity of our qualifications as medical doctors in Nigeria.

‘We hereby appeal to you, sir, to use your good office to wade into this matter. We trust in your goodwill and efficiency and believe that this issue will be resolved expediently with your intervention.

Further checks by THE RAINBOW revealed that the delay in the release of the certificates might not be unconnected with the alleged row between one of the Principal Officers of the university and a female graduate of the medical college.

It was learnt that the affected students of the Faculty of Medical Sciences had written several letters to the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Barth Okolo, for dialogue with a view to rectifying the issues hindering the issuance MBBS certificate but had met a brick wall.

A source revealed that trouble started when a top staff of the university alleged that there were some discrepancies in the first year results of some of the graduates.

Perhaps, it was against the backdrop that it took almost two years for the University Senate to certify the graduates for convocation after they had completed their programme

According to the source, names of the graduates were subsequently published in the 2012 convocation brochure, adding that when the expectant students showed up at the convocation, they were denied their certificates without any explanation.

Dr. Augustine Ijeomah who claimed to be the Spokesman of the group said they later got information that after the convocation in January 2012, the Vice Chancellor stopped signing certificates for that particular class, citing ‘irregularities’ in the first year results of some members of the class.

‘What is confusing about this excuse is that a verification process for these first year results is done before [medical students] take every MBBS examination. Secondly, if their excuse is related to the first year, are they saying that every member of the class has such issues?’ he quizzed.

The group is further disappointed that even though a committee was set up to look into this issue after a lot of protest, they have still not seen much from the said committee one year after its inauguration. They complained that irregular committee sittings, coupled with the lackadaisical attitude of its members towards the issue, raises the fear that nothing is going to come out of its work and that it is time for them to move to the next level with their pleas and protests.

Dr Ijeomah lamented that the situation had affected an entire batch of doctors most of whom have no blemish on their academic records, stressing how much each of them is losing because they do not possess their certificates.

Hear him: ‘Doctors who desire to do further training have had their applications thrown out as a result of this issue,’ he said. ‘Those who wanted to go for masters programs have suffered [the] same fate. The story of those that applied for various scholarships is not different from the aforementioned. This stems from the fact that they find it absurd that a doctor would not have [a]certificate after more than three years of graduation.’

He added that certain medical jobs in Nigeria, especially the non-governmental health sector, require certificates and not just medical licences, and this has automatically excluded them from applying for such positions. In addition, the permanent license certification by the Nigerian Medical and Dental Council (MDCN) cannot be obtained without a degree certificate, as a result of which these graduates have been reduced to exhibiting license payment receipts as proof of permanent registration.

He urged the university and all concerned to desist from the nonchalant attitude they have adopted towards the issue. He further charged the Exams and Records Department of the school to look up the results of the class and bring an end to the matter.

Reacting to the development, the Secretary to the Vice Chancellor of the UNN on Communication, Mr. Gabriel Ndu said last Tuesday in Enugu that the university authority was ‘still looking into the matter’.

In January this year, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Okolo, while responding to a question posed by a reporter during a pre-convocation press conference in Enugu, on the fate of the affected medical graduates, said the university authority should be given few weeks to rectify the nagging problem who had virtually thrown the young doctors into agony.

– The Rainbow
VNTI UNN

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