Leadership (Abuja)

16 January 2013

Nigeria: Five Nigeria Premier Varsities Now Shadows - Report

A report released by the Committee on Needs Assessment of Nigerian Universities, has revealed that University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria (ABU), University of Benin (Uniben), among many others suffer from ancient and dilapidated structures or are fast deteriorating and needing refurbishment.

Chairman of the committee, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, in the main report made available to LEADERSHIP, yesterday singled out that University of Ibadan and University of Lagos for "slightly better structures but required additional structures to afford better environment of studies for the students."

The report stated that there were no abandoned projects at University of Ibadan, with 16 of the ongoing projects funded by TETFund, nine from capital grants and 2 through the university's internally generated revenue (IGR), adding that of the 383 general learning resources required only 29 per cent had been procured.

The report revealed that the institution has some of the best facilities in the Nigerian university system, with no abandoned projects and two ongoing projects funded by the CBN and the FGN respectively, but maintained that power, water, roads and sport facilities as well as landscaping required lots of attention.

It revealed that the institution has six sources of funding including capital allocation, recurrent allocation, IGR and others, adding that 1.3 billion naira capital grants had been allocated to the institution from 2009 to 2011 of which of which 100 per cent had been released with recurrent allocations in excess of 39 per cent (9.9).

The report maintained that there were nine students hostels all in good conditions and refurbished within the last three to five years and recommended that the university required two equipped lecture theatres with seating capacities of 1,500 to be shared by the faculties of science, education, business and social sciences, while recommending the construction of green houses, specialised research laboratories and additional lecture halls.

The report went further to revealed that the state of toilets in the university were of grave concern and inadequate as on the average over 40 students shared one toilet, particularly the Asmau Mustapha hostel which accommodates about 3,178 students with only six toilets giving a ratio of 529 students to one toilet, adding that the university failed to provide its source of funding or funding profile in the last three years.

On University of Benin, the report revealed that learning resources were inadequate both in quantity and quality as some of the equipment are obsolete and dysfunctional. It added that the laboratories lacked reagents and modern equipment while the classroom seats were broken down with no public address systems in the lecture theatres.

The committee also recommended the completion of all abandoned and ongoing projects, refurbishing of existing lecture theatres, urgent need to address environmental challenges, construction of new laboratories, review of admission policies, renovation of existing hostels and rehabilitation of roads among others.

The committee in its findings revealed that governing councils were relatively unstable as proprietors of universities especially at the state level dissolved them at will and without recourse to the law, while some states were yet to have their governing council in place. Other findings revealed that duties and responsibilities of councils and their members were not explicit with an obvious lack of regularity or uniformity in council meetings and council expenditures.

It also revealed that most state universities did not have adequate mix of teaching staff as most staff were either visiting or part time with a total of 37,504 teaching staff across all Nigerian universities, with the first generation university having the highest numbers of full time teaching staff.

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