The Honourable Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu inaugurated the Governing Boards and Councils of nineteen (19) Parastatals and two (2) universities under the Federal Ministry of Education last Thursday at the Idris Abdulkadir Auditorium, National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja.
The inaugurated chairmen of the Boards and Councils were:
1) National Universities Commission (NUC) Prof. Ayo Banjo (SW)
2) Nigerian Institute of Educational Planning & Adm. (NIEPA) Hon. Dr E. O. Okon (SS)
3) Universal Basic Education Board (UBEC), Dr. Mahmud Muhammed (NW)
4) National Library Board (NLB), Prof. Zaynab Alkali (Zone A)
5) National Examination Council (NECO), Dr Abubakar Saddiq (NW)
6) Nat. Comm. for Mass Literacy Adult & Non-Formal Edu. (NCMLANFE) Dr Gidado B. Akko (NE)
7) Nomadic Education Commission (NEC), Prof Gidado Tahir (NE)
8) National Business and Technical Examination Board (NBTEB) Prof Leornard K. Shilgba (NC)
9) Teachers Registration Council (TRC) , Prof. Adamu Baikie(NW)
10) National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE), Alh.Maigari Dingyadi (NW)
11) Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund), Chief Emeka Nwajiuba (SE)
12) National Teachers Institution (NTI), Sen. Kaka Malam Yale (NE)
13) National Mathematical Centre, Sheda (NMC), Prof Buba Bajoga (NE)
14) Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Dr Emmanuel Ndukwe (SE)
15) National Institute of Nigerian Language (NINLAN), Chief Nkwo Nnabuchi (SE)
16) Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NIERDC), Chief Paul Unongo (NC)
17) Nigerian French Language Village (NFLV), Prof Temidayo Oladiji (SW)
18) National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Prof Modupe Adelabu (SW)
19) National Arabic Language Village (NALV), Prof O. Oladusi (NC)
The other Governing Councils of the two universities were:
1. National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof Peter Okebukola (SW)
2. Nigerian Maritime University, Okoronkoko, Chief Temiprieye Sylva (SS)
In his address, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu congratulated all the members for being found worthy and qualified for appointment into the boards of the agencies and Councils of the universities by the His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR. The president also expressed his ‘’gratitude to you for accepting to serve as chairmen and members of the boards and councils.
Malam Adamu stated that the current government put in place change agenda, encouraging chairmen and members to embrace the change “change from impunity, arbitrariness and recklessness to respect for rule of law and due process; change from mediocrity and incompetence to meritocracy and target-driven purposeful governance; change from mindless corruption and naked abuse of trust to patriotic nationalism and people oriented governance; change from old selfish way to the new patriotic way.’’
He urged the Chairmen and members to carry out the assignment with professionalism, dedication, sincerity and patriotism and to be guided by their conditions of appointment as contained in their letters of engagement.
The Minister inspired the boards and council members to play their roles with skills and efficiency, displaying courageous, innovative and responsive attitude. He placed high expectation from them to provide good governance and leadership that engender transparency, accountability and support for pursuit of the harmonious relationship with Chief Executives and management of their respective agencies.
Malam Adamu said ‘’Boards must, however, set clear reporting procedure and determine targets for their chief executives. They should set the policies and define the directions, as well as lend their weight and extend their support to management as the latter implements those policies and decisions.’’ He charged them to be disciplined and promote discipline; to be transparent and accountable and promote transparency and accountability; work hard and promote and reward hard work.
Finally, he requested them to key into the Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP) 2016 – 2019 document developed by the Federal Ministry of Education that contained policy guidelines, calling them to support the pursuit of the ten strategic goals of the MSP as they relate to their respective agencies.
After the inauguration by the Minister of Education, two chairmen of the Boards were asked to speak on behalf of all the Board and Council members: The NUC Board Chairman, Professor Ayo Banjo and Chief Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba.
In his response, the NUC Board Chairman, Professor Emeritus Ayo Banjo acknowledged the trust placed on them to pilot the affairs of Nigerian University System (NUS), recognising that the system faces enormous challenges. He said the challenge started with the extraneous advice from so-called international experts that more funds should be spent on basic education and stop throwing money on tertiary education in Nigeria. The said experts equate primary education with the growth in literacy instead of looking at education holistically for development of individual, he enthused.
The NUC chair said ‘’if government fixed its attention on primary education, to the detriment of university education, what sort of people would be the teachers of the teachers who teach in primary schools. The reform of primary education should proceed pari passu with the ennobling of university education.’’
Prof Banjo enumerated the resultant effects of such action that included: loss of confidence of stakeholders; interminable university sessions; lack of grace and intellect of university products; little ground-breaking research in universities; and hardly any Nigerian university measured up to the best 500 in the global ranking, amongst others.
Other implications, according to him, included shunning of outstanding scholars from other parts of the world; and almost non-existence of foreign students in Nigerian universities, ’’thus robbing the universities of one of the most important characteristics of a university by turning Nigerian Universities into insular institutions.’’
In his concluding remarks, he promised, on behalf of the chairmen, Board and Council members, to raise standard of NUS, satisfy the stakeholders and at the same time place the Nigerian Universities on the world map.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arch. Sonny Echono who moved the vote of thanks congratulated all the chairmen and members of the boards and councils and expressed the federal government’s appreciation for accepting to serve, advising all members to proceed to their various agencies for briefing. He thanked the HME, Malam Adamu Adamu for inaugurating all the boards and Honourable Minister Education of State for Education, Professor Anthony Gozie Anwukah for his remarks and support.
He thanked the chairmen, Senate and House Committees on Education and Tetfund for finding time to grace the auspicious occasion and other members of hallow chambers as well as all invited guest and the pressmen. Arch. Prayed and wished everyone journey mercies as they depart to various destinations.