The Minister for Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has identified inadequate funding and financial indiscipline as the perennial problems bedeviling our educational development. Governing Councils and University administrators have therefore been challenged to uphold honesty, accountability and discipline in discharging their duties. “Universities must set the pace for financial probity, honesty, transparency and discipline” he declared. To succeed, he advised university governing councils to create atmosphere of peace in their institutions and communities. They should also relate with staff unions and students in a cordial manner. Above all, they should make the educational system competitive globally and adhere to rules guiding academic briefs and relevant master-plans. In all, they should strive to justify the confidence reposed in them by Visitor to their universities, President Mohammadu Buhari, GCFR.
The Minister was speaking at the inauguration of Chairmen and members of the reconstituted Governing Councils of the 12 new Universities established by the government of former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, held on Tuesday March 1, 2016, at the main Auditorium of National Universities Commission, Abuja.
According to the minister, the inauguration signaled a milestone in the history of education in the country, more so that the appointees were assuming responsibilities at a most needed time. He decried what he described as alarming rate of capital plight and challenged them to explore means and measures that would tame the ugly tide.
On funding, the minister said while government would continue to play its role within its available resources, governing councils should also be creative in university management and in seeking other ways of funding so as meet up with the ever-increasing financial demands of universites. He disclosed that the Federal Government is poised to tackle challenges in then sector as evidenced in the fact that Education got a very high allocation in the 2016 national Budget. The minister equally expressed the readiness of the Ministry of Education and indeed the Buhari administration to patner with Governing Councils as well as management for higher productivity.
In a brief remark at the ceremony, Senate Committee Chairman on Tertiary Education and TETFUND, Senator Binta Masi-Garba applauded the gender balance in the appointments and assured that the Senate and other relevant agencies would not rest on their oars until they tame the frightening flight in our education system.
Speaking on behalf of the newly inaugurated Governing Council members, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, who is the Chairman of the Federal University Otueke governing council, expressed their readiness to work with university managements and other stakeholders to ensure success in the education sector. She said ‘we are out to deliver real service guided by sincerity and integrity and these are attributes that money cannot buy’, promising not to disappoint the Visitor who found them worthy of the appointment.
Earlier, in an opening remark, the Minister of State, for Education, Professor Anthony Anwuka had reminded the appointees that their appointment was a call for national service and therefore challenged them to use their wealth of experience to justify the confidence reposed in them. While emphasizing that the appointment was on part time basis, he admonished them to give their best to the responsiblity they have been sadled with. Professor Anwuka further charged appointees to serve as ears and eyes of the Visitor in their various institutions. He reassured that their appointments were well thought out; the Buhari administration therefore counts on their support and cooperation, announcing that the reconstitution of the governing councils was a deliberate attempt by government to reinvigorate the educational system.
At the sidelines of the programme, the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University Oye-Ekiti, Professor Kayode Soremekun, who himself is also new, used the opportunity of the governing council inauguration to fraternize with the Pro-chancellor and Chairman of Council, FUOYE, Professor Saida Mabadeje and other council members who he was meeting for the first time. He also got to meet and interact with Principal Officers of the University.
Other members of the FUOYE Governing Council are Professor Buba Ahmed, Mr Alkali Aji Kolo, Engr Sabo Inuwa and Mr Folusho Philips. (The latter was absent during the inauguration).
The delegation from FUOYE also included the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor R. A. Omolehin, Registrar, D. A. Adeyemo, Bursar, B.O. Badmus, Librarian, Dr Gboyega Adio, Director of Innovation Professor Olusegun Oladimeji and some middle level officers. Host at Abuja was the Liaison Officer, Dr. Godwin Udibe.
If what transpired at an informal meeting between the newly-constituted Council and the University management team is anything to go by, then a concensus is already in the making for the growth and development of the budding university. The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Professor Saida Mabadeje has this to say, “I wish to express my readiness to work with the management of the University and other stakeholders to ensure the progress of the University,” On his part, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kayode Somerekun said his administration would open doors for ideas and initiatives that will move the young institution toward, pledging to give nothing short of his best to attest to the confidence reposed in him, with God on his side.