Govs hijack federal varsities’ VC appointments, says minister

Adamu Adamu, On Thursday, the Minister of Education, said that some state governors have hijacked the process of appointing Vice-Chancellors for Federal Universities.

To promote transparency, he indicated that he had a policy of non-interference in the selection processes.

The minister made the remarks during the inauguration of Chairmen and Governing Councils of 19 Federal Universities and four Inter-University Centres as well as the public presentation of the new Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo, Benue State.

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

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“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.

Adamu noted that vested interests were responsible for the crises which often than not mar the VC selection processes in many Federal Universities.

He urged the new appointees to familiarise themselves with the relevant sections of the law establishing their institutions as well as operating guidelines.

Adamu further said, “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.”

Senator Ndoma-Egba, who spoke on behalf of Pro-Chancellors and Chairmen of Governing Councils, assured the Minister that they would approach the assignment with all sense of responsibility and not disappoint the Federal Government for the confidence reposed on them.

Some of those inaugurated include Profs. Attahiru Jega, Remi Sonaiya, Nigerian French Language Village; Professor Ahmed Modibobo, University of Abuja; Professor Olu Obafemi, Federal University of Technology, Akure among others.

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