President Muhammadu Buhari has named Senator Gbemisola Saraki, the younger sister of Senate President Bukola Saraki, as Chairman, Governing Council of Federal University, Otuoke in Bayelsa State, among others.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said the inauguration of the councils marked another milestone in the Buhari administration’s effort to turn around the fortunes of Nigeria’s tertiary education institutions by appointing credible men and women into their councils.
He added that the current administration believes that universities were critical in the effort to achieve national economic prosperity through the provision of relevant skilled human capital and policy research outcomes.
Mr. Adamu charged the councils to supervise and monitor the effective entrenchment of the committee system and ensure plurality in decision-making process.
“As governing councils, you must be bold, courageous and responsive in ways that provide the kind of leadership that supports the growth and development of universities and make them globally competitive and attractive.
“In doing all these, you must ensure that the universities’ planning and growth are in consonance with all National Universities Commission (NUC) guidelines, especially, with regards to the issues of Academic Briefs and the development of appropriate master plans.
“I would like to remind you that governance and management are two distinct responsibilities in the university system.
“On the hand, councils will set the policies that define the direction and then support the managements in their implementation of the policies”, he said.
In her comments, Hajia Binta Garba, Chairman, Senate Committee on Tertiary Education and TETFund, said that concerted efforts must be made to reposition Nigeria’s education sector.
Senator Garba urged the councils to work with other stakeholders in restoring the lost glory of Nigeria’s education, adding that the ranking of Nigerian universities had started improving.
According to her, Nigeria loses over 2 billion U.S dollars in capital flight to education yearly.
“We know that before 2019, the amount lost through capital flight will be reduced drastically”, she said.
Responding on behalf of the members of newly inaugurated councils, Sen. Saraki, said they were delighted to be part of history.
She assured that the councils would discharge their duties diligently and justify the confidence reposed on them.