Acting Rector NTA College, Jos, Ms. Bewell In Alleged Extortion Scandal

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Yakubu Busari

  • As Students of The College Cries Out over Extortion and arbitrary increase of Fees By the Acting Rector
  • Acting Rector Deny Allegations
  • Held Journalists Hostage in her office, as she forced them to Delete Her Photographs they snapped while interviewing her on the crisis

c2About 2,000 students of the NTA college Jos have raised alarm about the discriminate extortion by the management and the Acting Rector, Ms Halima Bewel.

In their letter of complaint made available to Journalists in Plateau state revealed that the college Acting Rector have continued to increase their school fees indiscriminately with many students has dropped out of the college due to this, as they cannot cope with the exorbitant fees of the college.

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According to the students in their letter of complaint, stated that the College offer courses in Television Production, Journalism and Engineering for Diploma certificate.

According to the students in their letter said; “In 2003, the College was affiliated to Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, and became a degree awarding institution. It offers courses only in Television Production and Journalism for Degree certificate.

“Since the College is a government owned institution, we expected that the fees will be affordable for Nigerians. We pay exorbitant fees that cannot be accounted for.”

According to the students in their letter, they stated thus; “The office of the Rector is only for a PhD holder and the acting Rector, Ms Halima Bewel is yet to become one; she is seriously lobbying the Director General (DG) NTA, Shola Omole to permanent her as the Rector.”

“According to the Librarian who often attend management meeting with the acting Rector, the College is entitled to Five million naira (5,000,000) yearly subvention, while the College also makes Three Hundred Million Naira per session, even though

According to the students while lamenting over incessant increments in School fees said; “Last session, 2014, we paid Eighty one thousand naira (81,000) for school fees. As we went on vacation and resumed for the new session 2015, we were taken aback when we heard that the school authority had increased the school fees with additional Ten thousand naira (10,000), which makes the fees Ninety one thousand naira (91,000) without duly informing us.”

“There was no circular passed, or pasted on the notice board. No single student was informed. The information came to us as a rumour and we complied. And for those who couldn’t meet up with the deadline of payment were asked to pay Five thousand naira (5,000) fine or face compulsory deferment,” the students said.

Writing further the students said; “For new intake, U.M.E, the school fees is One hundred thousand naira (100,000), while new intake for Diploma student is One hundred and twenty thousand naira (120,000).  The students, both Diploma and Degree pay for Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) which is popularly known as I.T. For students who will do their I.T in Jos, Plateau State will pay Five thousand, five hundred naira (5,500), while those going out of the state will pay Seven thousand, five hundred naira. The acting Rector of the College gave us 3 weeks to pay after which there will be fine for defaulters.”

According to students they said that the one that jolted them most was the submission of Student Course form; “The acting Rector quietly sent someone to paste a circular on a newly constructed board just by the Exam Officer’s office, Mr. Remi Akinjao, for the submission of Course form. The office is at a corner where students who don’t have business there don’t visit let alone pass. The office of the exam officer where the circular was pasted is not where the school notice board originally is. Usually, our course representatives used to be informed and they will announce to the whole school. But to our surprise, none of the course representatives was aware of the submission date. Some of the EXCOS of Television Production Students Association (TEPSA) and the President of the College haven’t submitted too because they were not aware. About 60% of the Television Production students haven’t submitted. This is a pure act of wickedness by Ms. Bewell.”

According to the students in their letter stated that the Acting Rector boasted during the time when issue of the course form happened said; “Go and protest, carry placards, go to the media and report before I listen to you”. “I got directives from the DG of NTA and I will tell him I listen to instructions and I can carry out directives,” she claimed. After many pleadings, she asked the students to go down on their knees before she considered.”

“The information many of us gathered about why the Acting Rector quickly placed deadline and a fine of 10,000 naira for the submission of course form was because 300 level students protested against the Acting Rector’s sole decision for pasting the names and pictures of nursing mothers on the notice board, thereby giving people the impression that they had committed a crime. The news went on air on Highland fm and NTA Jos center. She got angry because the news of the protest got to the Headquarters and she was served a query. We are all wondering what they do with the money the School generates because we don’t have equipment. We (the students) are financially responsible for all the expenses of our production assignments. We don’t get anything from the school. No Cameras, all we do is rent. The school has two cameras only for about 2,000 students. Students find it difficult to apply for the cameras because of the bureaucratic nature of protocols, and most times the management don’t approve it. As a media school, the only Television school in Nigeria, we are supposed to be transmitting from the school but we don’t. We are supposed to have a Radio station just like other schools like University of Lagos, University of Jos, Nassarawa State University etc, but we don’t,” the students said.

Meanwhile, when our correspondent and other reporter visited the Acting Rector of the college on Tuesday 17th August, 2015 at about 10:40am to get her side of the story, they saw resistance from the Acting Rector.

According to our correspondent, he said they were ushered into the premises when her personal secretary told them Madam is waiting for them, they immediately went into her office to explain the reason why she should comment on allegations of extortion and her lack of qualification to occupied the said position.

However, Ms Halima who quickly call for the presence of all the management staff in her office said; “we are all working together as one team so she  explain to us what really transpire .”

“After carefully study of the students letter of complaints it was forwarded to some of the management to see and  then  add their input but unknown to the Journalists who were in her office, what they didn’t know was that  they were ready for a serious war with the questions being asked, they carried this action as if they had a  pre-conceive mind to attack or  revenge as earlier reported by students union body.”

The Acting Rector of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Jos has held the two Journalists hostage over an investigation which was scheduled to end peacefully, but turned rowdy.

The two Journalists narrowly escaped being attack by unfriendly management of the NTA college narrated their ordeal when trying to find out the true position of the crisis between management and the students.

Our correspondent gathered that the interview became a serious misunderstanding when Ag. Rector lost balance on how to answer a question about relationship between her the NTA ,Director General Mr Shola Omole, whom the students in their letter has complained that she has been lobbying him so that she is made the Rector of the college. However our correspondent said that she demand from the Journalists to reframe questions which was immediately done.”

A reporter who was taking the photographs of the Rector to continue with the interview was not allowed to do so as the management besieged the office and ordered for the office to be lock and her picture be deleted.

It was gathered the Acting Rector with the management who are being fingered for their shoddy deals in the College has vowed never to allow media investigate the current fracas between them and the students who are protesting indiscriminate increase.

However, the management of the college threatened to file a suit against any journalist who went ahead and publish story about the college.

The Ag Rector, Ms Halima Bewel earlier refuted the allegation of indiscriminate extortion of money from the students as baseless and unfounded rumour to tarnish her good name.

Ms Halima Bewel further stressed that, since she resume as the Acting Rector of the college all funds from school fees have  been judiciously  channelled for the development of the institution ,there was never a time the college realized  N300,000 ,000 as claim by the students, she said.

Bewel said thee returning students paid the sum of 81 thousand naira while fresh students 90 thousand naira with tuition fee of N9, 000.00.

“We struggle to maintain the college by upgrading e-library and posting websites and accreditation of many courses, employing qualify lecturers, even as she added that the N7,500 collected from IT students was not enough as the college spent more than what the students paid for their scheme.

She debunked that at no time in her life that she approached DG NTA, Mr Shola Omole or lobbied for confirmation. She noted that they manage to collect less than 150,000,000 school fees with which the college pay staffs, security and other workers without any assistant from the federal government.

She appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to come to the college rescue in the area of training of staff to meet up international standard.

According to her, with the little the college get from sales of forms of Diploma and Degree programme which it is affiliated with Ahmedu Bello University Zaria(ABU) and most of the visiting lecturers are from there, they were able to build world standard hostels, accommodations  with standard classrooms for students to enjoy.

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