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FG constitutes panels to probe finances of federal universities

The Federal Government on Tuesday inaugurated visitation panels to probe the activities of 38 federal universities and four inter-university centres in the last 10 years – 2011 to 2020.

The panels will look into financial management, administration and the overall conditions for teaching, learning and research in the affected institutions.

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, while inaugurating the panels in Abuja, explained that the main objective of the visitations was to appraise the performance of the institutions in terms of the leadership qualities of the vice-chancellors, principal officers and the governing councils to ascertain the extent to which they have fulfilled their mandate for public good during the period under review.

“As provided for in the laws setting up all public universities in the country, visitations are conducted every five years. The last of such exercises was carried out in early 2011, covering the period 2004-2010.

“In effect, the current exercise will cover a 10- year period, and all panels to be inaugurated shortly are expected to present two separate five-year reports; 2011-2015 and 2016-2020”, the minister represented by Sonny Echono, the permanent secretary in the ministry, said.

The terms of reference of the panel according to the minister, include investigating the application of funds, particularly the special grants and loans meant for specific projects in order to determine the status of such projects and their relevance for further funding;

To examine the adequacy of the staff and staff development programmes of each university; to determine the relationship between the university and the various statutory bodies it interacts with according to its law for the purposes of supervision, planning, finance, discipline, guidance and any other relationship (i.e governing council, NUC, and federal ministry of education.

To examine the general security in the university and how the university has dealt with it and recommend appropriate measures, to examine the processes and structures of the discipline of students in each university in line with due process of the rule of law, among others.

The minister said each panel is expected to conclude its assignment and submit its report within 60 days from Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

The executive secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Abubakar Rasheed in his address at the inauguration, said the affected institutions include all federal government- owned institutions except for the newly established ones in Okerenkoko, Delta State; Otukp Beneue State; Biu, Borno State and Zuru, Kebbi State.

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