Stella Oduah, Nigeria’s minister of aviation faces a fresh integrity scrutiny over her claim that she obtained an MBA degree from an American university.
“Her resume, which she presented to the Senate as a ministerial nominee in 2011, indicated she obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from St. Paul’s College Lawrenceville, Virginia, United States.
“But SaharaReporters has learned from the President of the college that it has never in its 125-year history had a graduate school or graduate program.
“The Provost Vice President of Academic Affairs, and the Vice President of Institutional Development said in response to our inquiries, “We don’t offer any graduate programs here.”
“Similarly, the school’s website states: “Saint Paul’s College is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate [bachelor’s] degrees.” There is no mention of graduate degrees.
“The Minister’s documentation shows she received an undergraduate degree in accounting from the college in 1982, but Dr. Claud Flythe, St. Paul’s current president, could neither confirm nor deny this during a phone conversation with SaharaReporters. Further verification with the Office of Alumni Affairs is also currently impossible, the school said, because the college has been closed since June 2013 to loss of its accreditation.
“[Oduah] realized very early in life the indispensability of a sound education in her growth plans in life and therefore pursued her education with all diligence and sense of purpose,” her documents claimed, adding that a determination “to have the best education at the highest level” prompted her stay at the Virginia college in 1983 for the MBA programme.
“As her public relations machinery marched on, in December 2012 The Sun newspaper published an article headlined “Stella Oduah: An Amazon of transformation,” which lauded her “MBA from St Paul’s College, Lawrenceville Virginia USA.” The story also praised her for being an official who brought her “rich educational background to bear on the aviation sector by automating revenue centers in all the agencies and parastatals to boost their revenue profile and enhance transparency and accountability in the system.”
SaharaReporters similarly broke in October, the story that Mrs. Oduah, a former campaign manager for President Goodluck Jonathan, purchased two bulletproof BMW cars worth $ 1.6 Million (N255m) through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, for her own use.
The House of Representatives, after a probe of the scandalous purchase, has asked President Jonathan to ‘review her status’ as minister, another way of saying that she should be sacked.