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State govs have hijacked processes of appointing VCs for federal varsities — Minister

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Adamu Adamu, the Minister of Education has disclosed how some state governors have hijacked the process of appointing Vice-Chancellors for Federal Universities.

Mr Adamu made the revelation on Thursday in Abuja during the inauguration of Chairmen and Governing Councils of 19 Federal Universities and 4 inter-University Centres as well as the public presentation of the new Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo, Benue State.

The minister, therefore, directed the Governing Councils to take charge and exercise their rights and not to allow outside influence in the selection process of new Vice-Chancellors of their respective institutions.

He said: “The Federal Ministry of Education under me has not in any way interfere with the selection of any Vice-Chancellor and I have not talked to any Chairman that I have any candidate.

“Unfortunately, I found out that because of my lack of interest or because I feel I should allow you (Council) to exercise your right, it is being hijacked by the governors. It is your right, don’t sell it to them. The law stipulated that and we are giving you full independence, don’t sell it to them.

“It is, therefore, essential that you familiarise yourselves with the specific law establishing your University or Centre as well as with other relevant laws of the Federation.

“You should, in particular, be guided by the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act of 1993 and its various amendments (of 2003 and 2012).

“You should adhere strictly, for example, to Section 2AAA of the 2003 Amendment Act which stipulates that “The Governing Council of a university shall be free in the discharge of its functions and exercise of its responsibilities for the good management, growth and development of the University.”

“Section 3 (4) of the same 2003 Amendment reposes on Council the power to appoint the Vice-Chancellor of the University. I urge you to exercise this power with utmost sense of responsibility and in the best interest of your Universities,” Mr Adamu said.

The Minister also stated that the reconstitution of the Governing Councils of the Federal Universities was coming at a propitious time, in view of the fact that the government recently constituted Visitation Panels to all Federal Universities.

He added that Panels have recently rounded off their assignments and would soon submit their Reports in two separate volumes, covering the periods: January 2011-December 2015, and January 2016 December 2020, respectively.

In accordance with the Panels’ Terms of Reference, each report would contain scrutiny of the state affairs of the University during the periods under review; its achievements and the challenges being faced; working environment (including relationships with and among staff and students); relations between Council and Management; how the University relates with its host communities, as well as with national and international bodies, among others.

He said as soon as the Visitation Reports were received, Government would study them and issue White Papers, the recommendations of which would guide Councils and Management on how to improve their systems and services by taking necessary steps to address the lapses and weaknesses identified by the Visitation Panels.

Mr Adamu, however, warned the Council members that the president and visitor to the Federal Universities will not hesitate to dismiss any Council found to be corrupt or incompetent

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