• Thursday, July 25, 2024
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BusinessDay

New governing councils pivotal to re-engineering Nigerian tertiary institutions— Mamman

FG plans review basic schools curriculum, needs 950,000 teachers

Tahir Mamman, the minister of education has said that the new governing councils for federal tertiary institutions are pivotal to achieving Nigeria’s drive for an improved education system and re-engineering the governance structure of the higher education sector.

The minister disclosed this during the inauguration of the new governing councils of the various federal universities and polytechnics on Thursday held in Abuja when he expressed confidence that with the inauguration, the nation’s tertiary institutions will achieve a remarkable transformation for the benefit of Nigerian children, and generations to come.

“The event marks an important milestone in the quest to improve the education sector and re-engineer the governance structure of Nigerian tertiary institutions,” Mamman said.

However, he charged the new governing councils to get themselves acquainted with current acts of their various institutions, government policies, white papers, if any; circulars, gazettes, and other relevant documents, relating to the institutions and those of general application in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

“I, therefore, charge you to explore diverse funding sources, including partnerships with the private sector and international organisations, alumni, endowment, and sponsored research to ensure the financial sustainability of your Institutions.

“It is however imperative, that the limited funds allocated by government are judiciously utilised,” he said.

In addition, the minister said; “As governing councils, one of your responsibilities is to ensure good management, healthy growth and development of your institutions.

“One of the challenges governing councils regularly face during their tenures is the appointment of principal officers.

“As a council, you must ensure that proper attention and priority are given to the relevant acts of the institutions and government guidelines for the process of such appointments as well as ensure fairness and transparency. Governing councils must, at all times, adhere to the ideals of transparency and probity.”

Besides, the former university don called on the newly appointed governing councils to encourage responsible unionism in their respective institutions while arresting the problems of cultism and drug abuse by students.

He reiterated that effective strategies should be put in place by the new councils for early detection and eradication of social vices such as sexual harassment, theft, extortion, and inducement.

“Let me clarify that there is a dear line of operations between the management and respective governing councils of the tertiary institutions. Councils are not to interfere with the day-to-day management of human, financial, and material resources of the institutions,” he noted.

Yusuf Sununu, the minister of state for education earlier expressed confidence in the presence of a crop of eminent, quintessential, well-respected Nigerians in the councils, who have contributed immensely to the growth and development of Nigeria in their various fields of endeavour.

“I use this opportunity to congratulate you for these well-deserved appointments as chairmen and members of the governing councils of our tertiary institutions.

“Worthy of mention at this point is the fact that Nigerians have been yearning for quality functional education, fit for purpose and sustainable development and also education that will equip our citizens and make them competent to deal with global emerging issues.

“I wish to inform this distinguished gathering that the administration of President Bola Tinubu is determined to give Nigerians the best education at all levels in his Renewed Hope Agenda,” he said.

Wole Olanipekun, the pro-chancellor of the University of Lagos, and the representative of all council chairmen in his speech, called for autonomy of the council in running the affairs of the universities.

The federal government inaugurated the governing councils of universities, polytechnics, and other federal tertiary institutions in the country in fulfilment of its earlier promise of constituting new councils for the federal tertiary institutions.

The inauguration comes a year after the government dissolved the governing councils of all tertiary institutions, leaving them to operate without governing councils.

Recall that President Bola Tinubu, in June 2023, shortly after being sworn in as president, announced the dissolution of governing councils of federal tertiary institutions, leaving them to operate for almost a year without governing councils.

A total of 560 people were appointed to the governing councils and boards of federal academic institutions.

Bisi Akande was appointed as the chairman of the governing council of the University of Ibadan. The board consists of Alexander Ajipe, Nelson Alapa, Ifeoma Nwankwo, and Emmanuel Alo.

While Olanipekun is the chairman of the University of Lagos governing council Bello Kumo, Idowu Mark, Niyi Akande, and Bola Njoku are council members.