Exactly one year after the White Papers were submitted by 10 committees saddled with the responsibility of drafting them, the immediate past Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, last week Thursday, presented the gazetted copies to the Pro-Chancellors and Chairmen of the Governing Councils of the affected universities, at the auditorium of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja.
Mal. Adamu said that the Federal Government had earlier set up visitation panels to holistically crosscheck the activities of more than 30 federal universities between 2011 and 2020. The panels submitted their reports in 2021 but copies were not made public.
He, however, informed the gathering that the Federal Government in February 2022 set up committees to prepare White Papers from the reports submitted by the panels, and that the different committees had since May, 2022, submitted same.
The former Minister of Education presented the reports to Pro-Chancellors of the institutions in the presence of some Vice-Chancellors at the event. He called on the Chief Executive Officers of the universities to take responsibility for the implementation of the recommendations enumerated in the reports.
Mal. Adamu, who said the White Papers containing the recommendations for the institutions had been officially gazetted, stated that, the production of the White Papers demanded significant resources and efforts from the government.
“I must emphasize that the production of these white papers has demanded significant resources and unwavering effort from the Federal Government,” he stressed.
He added that the recommendations in the reports served as a compass guiding university education in achieving the objectives set forth by the government when the institutions were established.
He insisted that the release of the documents was a testament of the federal government’s commitment towards ensuring the highest standards of education and academic excellence in the universities.
The former Minister said: “It is, therefore, incumbent upon each of you, as the esteemed Chief Executives of these institutions, to take responsibility for the diligent implementation of the recommendations outlined within these documents.”
“The federal government has entrusted you with this crucial task, and failure to execute it faithfully will not be taken lightly. The well-being and success of our students, faculty, and the Nigerian populace as a whole depend on the effective execution of these recommendations.”
Every four years, the President, as a visitor to the federal universities, appoints panels to visit the universities, conduct comprehensive reviews, and report on their activities, including their Internally Generated Revenues (IGR), expenditures, and disciplinary cases against staff and students.
These panels are entrusted with the responsibility of conducting a comprehensive assessment of the universities and Inter-University Centres (IUCs).
Parts of the visitation panel’s term of references was to review the performance of each institution assigned in the area of governance, academic standards, quality assurance, management of finances, relationships between the management and the staff, as well as the structures of the schools’ infrastructure and instructional materials.
The visitation panels were also asked to look into the financial management of the institutions, compliance to procurement laws, and investigate the application of funds particularly the special grants and loans made for specific projects, among others.