The Federal Government, on Monday, said it is still in talks and consultation with relevant stakeholders on the implementation of guidelines and measures for the safe reopening of schools in the country.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc Sonny Echono, gave the indication where the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu inaugurated the Governing Councils of 13 Federal Universities.
Echono disclosed that the Ministry in the last few days met with Commissioners for Education from the 36 States of the Federation, Vice-Chancellors, Nigerian Council For Diseases Control (NCDC), Nigerian Education in Emergencies Working Group among other stakeholders.
Adamu had last week, said the schools would not be reopened anytime soon in view of the rising cases of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and the need to safeguard the lives of the school children.
Inaugurating the council members in Abuja, the Minister tasked the governing boards to block loopholes and come up with ideas that will shore up the internally generated revenue of the universities.
He also called on them to comply with the Federal Character principles in the appointment of staff.
According to him, “The major critical areas of challenge is inadequate funding as well judicious use available resources, so let me advise you to come up with new creative ways to improve funding in your institution.”
“You will have to block the loopholes where the IGR slides away, I urge you to also comply and respect the rule of the Federal Character Commission in the appointment of your officers.”
He disclosed that visitation panels will be visiting the universities in the next weeks, and called on the new council members to effectively cooperate with the panel so as to lay a good foundation.
The Minister added that the appointment of the tested and proven appointees into the governing boards is part of the government’s effort to improve Nigerian universities in the next four years hence.
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission NUC, Professor Adamu Rasheed, while speaking at the event, said the inauguration of the council members marks the beginning of a new phase in the introduction of first 12 specialised universities.
“All these specialised universities came about by Adamu vision, and it empowers specialised higher education in the sector to address the needs of the Nigerian society.
“The NUC is also inspired by the Map of 2018-2020 and it has been committed to revitalising Nigeria university education such as urgent fostering skills development and entrepreneur as well as addressing inadequacies in facilities,” Adamu said.
Responding, the representative of the newly appointed chairmen, Prof Funmilayo Monguno, while pledging the best of services from the council members, said the members look forward to cooperation from the Minister and the NUC specifically in the provision of useful information.
Among the newly appointed Council Chairmen is Prof. Nimmi Briggs who chairs the governing members of the Ndufo Alike University, Ebonyi State.
The universities with new Governing Council Members are Federal University Lokoja, Federal University of Lafia, Nasarawa State, Federal University Kashere, Federal University Wukari, Taraba State, Federal University Dutsen-ma, Katsina State and Federal University Jigawa.
Others are Ndufo Alike University of Ebonyi State, Federal University Oye Ekiti, Ekiti State, Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Federal University Birnin-Kebbi, Federal University Gusau in Zamfara state and Federal University Gashua, Yobe state.
Federal University of Health Sciences also has new Governing Council Members. The newly inaugurated Governing Council members are to serve for four years.
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