THE Federal Government has constituted visitation panels for 38 federal-owned universities and four inter-universities institutions.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education (FME) Abuja, Mr. Sonny Ochono, noted in an advertorial listing the members of the panels for each institution that the Ministry would inform them when they would commence their assignment.
The inauguration of panels is one of the demands contained in the agreement of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) with the government, which formed part of the conditions for suspending the union’s 10-month strike.
The panels are expected to work on nine terms of reference, including: examining the relationship between the institutions and the various statutory bodies they interact with; examining the quality of leadership of the institutions in terms of the role of the Governing Councils, the Head of the institution and other principal officers; examining the financial management of the institution over the recommended period and determine whether it is in compliance with appropriate regulations and advise on any and all other aspects of the institution that may be of interest to both the Visitor and the public; and to the attainment of the objectives for which the institution was set up.
At the University of Ilorin, a former Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Prof. Shehu Usman Abdullahi, chairs the seven-man panel.
Other members of the panel are: Prof. Bonaventure Nkup Haruna, Dr. Comfort Seki Alagoa, Dubem Awe, Prof. Afis Oladosu, Mrs. Larai Saadatu Jibril Ahmed, and Mr. Kalu Obasi Kalu of the Federal Ministry of Education who would serve as the Secretary.
Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, described the constitution of the Panel as a welcome development.
Abdulkareem, who spoke through the University’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Kunle Akogun, expressed satisfaction with the composition of the panel, which he said was made up of eminent scholars and versatile administrators with tremendous experiences in public service.
The award-winning Professor of Chemical Engineering assured the Panel of the university’s cooperation towards achieving the Panel’s terms of reference.
Also speaking, the Chairman UNILORIN ASUU, Prof. Salihu Moyosore Ajao, urged the panel to be unbiased in reporting its findings.
“We implore the Panel to be steadfast and report the exact positions of their findings. Their recommendations should move the University to the next level,” he said.
He expressed the hope that the Federal Government would implement the recommendations of the various panels as they affect each of the institutions and also implement all other agreements it had with ASUU.
Some of the other universities include: University of Ibadan; University of Nigeria Nsukka; Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife; Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Lagos; University of Benin; Bayero University, Kano; University of Calabar; University of Jos; University of Maiduguri; and the Usman Danfodiyo University.
The inter-university centres are: National Institute of Nigerian Languages (NINLAN), Aba, Abia State; National Mathematical Centre, Abuja; Nigerian French Language Village, Badagry, Lagos; and the Nigerian Arabic Language Village, Ngala.