The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, on Tuesday inaugurated the Governing Councils of 23 out of the 40 federal universities in the country.
The new councils are to serve for a period of four years.
Mr. Adamu said the inauguration came on the heels of the completion of the tenure of the immediate past governing councils appointed in April, 2013.
According to the minister, the governing councils are charged with the responsibilities of approving the financial guidelines of the universities; determining the terms and conditions of appointment of the vice chancellors and principal officers of the universities as well as annually reviewing the universities’ budget to monitor their performance and assess the overall impact of their implementation, among others.
He also called on the newly inaugurated councils to focus efforts on broadening the Internally Generated Revenue Base, IGR, of the universities.
“In view of the current economic situation in the country, I call for the prudent management of the scarce resources while efforts should be intensified to broaden the Internally Generated Revenue Base of each university.
“You should also ensure the judicious application of revenues so generated,’’ Mr. Adamu said.
The minister also called on the council to live above board in the discharge of their duties by seeing to it that every act of corruption was avoided in their various universities.
“I call upon the governing councils, to join in this war against corruption. Any corrupt practises by councils including condoning cases of indiscipline by staff, is bound to have a destructive effect on the system and, on the products of the system. This must be avoided.
“You should also remember that governance and management are two distinct responsibilities in the university system. that distinction should remain clear in your mind. you shall set the policies. You shall define the directions,” Mr. Adamu told the new councils.
He, however, urged universities’ managements to support the governing councils as they implement their policies and decisions.
In his address, Abubakar Rasheed, the Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, urged the new council to be committed in the discharge of their duties.
Mr. Rasheed, who reiterated the role of the council in the development of universities, said the commission would continue to support the councils to achieve its desired result.
“NUC appreciates the critical role of the governing council in the development of Nigerian universities.
“The NUC will continue to make itself available to ensure that it succeeds in its task and to succeed, every one of you should display a high sense of commitment, teamwork and dedication no matter the challenges,’’ he said.
Also, Suleiman Aminu, Chairman, House Committee on Tertiary Education and TETFund advised the councils to work closely with vice chancellors of the universities to ensure unity of purpose.
Mr. Aminu promised to work with the legislature to ensure that universities were properly funded, adding that the various leakages in the universities must be blocked.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in April constituted the chairmen of governing councils of the 23 universities.
The institutions affected are those whose Governing Councils’ tenures elapsed in April.
In making these appointments, Mr. President had taken cognizance of the requirements for membership into governing councils, which include among others, a minimum of a university degree, high integrity, and commitment to educational development of the country.
In addition, consideration was also given to geo-political spread, in order to reflect federal character and foster sense of belonging.