By Joseph Erunke, Abuja
The federal government, Monday, enjoined prominent citizens in the country to revamp the quality of education in tertiary institutions, insisting that the drive to revamp the quality output of higher education in Nigeria rests on their shoulders.
The government also tasked governing councils of higher institutions to “enlist the support of philanthropic organizations and individuals for additional funding of their institutions, saying: “Council can also explore other sources of revenue through endowments”
But it charged the governing councils to adopt best practices and comply with statutory guidelines in the performance of their supervisory functions.
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, speaking through his representative and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Arch. Sony Echono at the inauguration of Governing Councils of five federal universities, in Abuja, also warned members of the governing councils against conflicts, saying such actions were capable of undermining the smooth running of the institutions.
The minister explained that members of the councils were selected after a considerable assessment of circumstances that led to the dissolution of the four councils of the affected institutions, adding that the need to ensure stability, continuity and rebuild confidence in the institutions necessitated their choices.
“The drive to revamp the quality output of higher education in Nigeria rests on the shoulders of prominent citizens like the individuals that have been selected,” he said.
“The challenges which governing councils should tackle in the course of their tenure is the appointment of principal officers. In this regard, councils should enlist the support of philanthropic organizations and individuals for additional funding of their institutions. Council can also explore other sources of revenue through endowments
“The council must ensure that proper attention and priority is accorded to relevant university laws and government guidelines in the process of such appointments,” Adamu said.
Recall that four councils were dissolved for their inability to discharge their duties in line with the provisions of the law.
The newly appointed Chairmen are Chief John Odigie Oyegun, Chairman Governing Council University of Ibadan, Chief Lanre Tejuosho Chairman, University of Lagos Council, Sen. Andrew Uchendu, Chairman University of PortHarcourt, Chief Oscar Udoji, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and Dr Elias Eddi Courson Chairman Governing Council of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenko
Former national chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Odigie Oyegun and newly appointed Chairman of the University of Ibadan, who spoke on behalf of other appointees, assured that members will contribute immensely to see a total turnaround in the institutions they were appointed to contribute to
He said: “I promise on behalf of my other colleagues that this team will not be part of the problems of our universities but we will build on existing success.“
On his part, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof Rasheed Abubakar, noted that the task before the council was heavy, hence the need for them to face it with total dedication.