America University of Nigeria sacks 400 staff

By Onimisi Alao, Yola

American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, withdrew 400 of its staff.

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This came to light on Tuesday, when the university, owned by former Nigeria vice president Atiku Abubakar, announced that it no longer needed its services.

AUN is Atiku's second Yola company to lay off employees in five days. On the workers' last day, on May 1, Gotel Communications, an Atiku TV / Radio company, laid off 46 workers.

AUN President Dawn Dekle signed the letters removing the 400 workers from the university.

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The university immediately issued a statement, however, explaining why the workers had to go.

AUN's vice president responsible for University Relations, Abubakar Abba Tahir, said the institution's action is part of its restructuring for sustainability.

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Abubakar Tahir said: “Certain structural elements were initiated by the new Board of Governors of the American University of Nigeria (AUN), in response to NUC requirements, forcing the institution to align itself with an approved governance structure for all tertiary institutions operating in the country.

“Until now, AUN operated a student-team relationship, whose balance continued to affect the university's sustainability. This is clearly an unusual tradition and hardly feasible in all institutions and organizations around the world. Obviously, it is unattainable.

“Thus, as a result of the new vote by the university's Governing Council to restructure the institution, according to its sustainability agenda, a process of rationalizing the workforce is underway.

"Now it is time for the university to look back, look around and look to the future, to ensure that realistic and globally competitive administrative practices can be achieved in structure, strategy and focus."

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