In Consultation with relevant Stakeholders and in response to their yearnings for a world class specialized Medical University in the Federal Capital Territory( FCT), The Honourable Minister of Education (HME), Malam Adamu Adamu has inaugurated a planning committee for the establishment of a National Medical University to be located in Abuja using the National Hospital Abuja as its Teaching Hospital.
The Minister said this was in recognition of the Hospital’s pre-eminent role and huge potentials in broadening access to man- power development and effective healthcare delivery in the FCT in particular and the country at large.
Malam Adamu, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, mni, MFR, FNAL, Prof Rasheed, apologized for the delay in inaugurating the planning Committee.
He said the committee ought to have been inaugurated last year but due to the corona- virus pandemic it had to be shelved.
He stated that the Committees have the following terms of reference;
To consult with key stakeholders on the desirability, appropriateness and decision to create a National Medical University, Abuja using the National Hospital as its Teaching Hospital, and
· To also assess the proposed site and make recommendations on the location of academic and Clinical Facilities.
According to the Minister, the Planning Committee was expected to produce the draft Strategic Document for the proposed National Medical University, such as the University Law, Academic Brief and Master Plan, including the Mission, Vision and Goals of the University. They were in addition required to draft budget based on the infrastructural needs and financial requirements for the upgrading of existing facilities in order to raise them to a standard befitting of a World Class Medical University.
The Committee also had the task to advise the federal Government on any other matters of interest to the proposed institution.
Mal Adamu stressed that the members could go into groups so as to cover a lot of ground since their mandate covers All the Medical Universities in Nigeria, which included the Federal, State and Private Universities. He enjoined them to do a thorough job so as to know the area of challenges and where to properly advise the Government. He further advocated for representatives of NUC and Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) to join the planning committee.
The Hon. Minister expressed happiness that more conventional and specialized Universities were now being established in Nigeria as applicable in other climes. He frowned at specialized Universities offering various Courses that were not in tandem with the vision and mission of the University, citing the example of Medical Universities offering Art, Social Sciences and Engineering courses.
He said that the Committee shall from the date of its inauguration, have eight (8) weeks within which to summit its report to the Honourable Minister of Education through the NUC.
Meanwhile members of the planning committee include; Prof. Friday Okonofua, (as the Chairman); Chief Medical Director, National Hospital, Abuja, Dr, Jafaru A. Momoh; Consultant Radiologist, Dr. Amina Shamaki, mni; Former Provost, College of Medicine, UCH, Ibadan, Prof. Ebnenezer O. Olaopa; Provost, College of Medicine Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Uli, Prof. Walter C. Nwafia; Chief Medical Director, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Prof. Bissallah A. Ekele; Director in the Ministry of Health, Dr. David Atuwo, mni; Visiting Professor, NUC, Prof. Abdullahi Ribadu and Bayero University, Kano Don, Dr. Idris Mohammed is the Secretary of the committee.
Others representing the NUC include, Deputy Executive Secretaries, Academics and Administration, Dr. Suleiman Babatunde Ramon-Yusuf and Mr. Chris Maiyaki, respectively; while the Director Executive Secretary’s Office, Mr. John Mairafi Ahmadu is the assistant Secretary. Also in the committee were the Registrar Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and Director of Education, FCT, a Representative of FCDA.
Responding, the Chairman of the Committee commended the Minister as well as the NUC Executive Secretary for what he had done in the Commission and Universities in Nigeria and promised that the committee would not disappoint in the assignment that had been given to them.
At the inauguration ceremony were the NUC Directors of; Finance and Accounts, Mr. Samuel Onazi; Academic Planning, Dr. Noel Abiodun Saliu; Open and E-learning, Eng. Kayode Odedina; as well as the Acting Directors of Monitoring and Inspection, Lydia Umoroa; and Skills Development and Entrepreneurship, Mal. Ashafa Ladan.