28 February 2013

Nigeria: FG Flays VCs, Registrars Over Staff Appointments

The Federal Government has warned the Vice chancellors and registrars of the 12 new federal universities against appointing staff on sentiment but on due process.

The Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa'I while briefing the vice-chancellors and registrars of the three new universities recently, cautioned that the sanctity and integrity of the university system should be foremost in deciding who should be appointed to various positions in their universities.

According to the minister, "as vice-chancellors, you are expected to liaise with the state government to secure the title documents (Deeds) of their permanent sites and take-off sites. You should also work with the National Implementation Committee which is responsible for the overall monitoring of the projects.

"You should also seek assistance from the state government and private individuals towards the smooth take-off of the academic activities in your universities."

She also tasked them to always prioritize the needs of the institutions within the available budgetary provision while warning that extreme caution must be taken in the appointments of members of staff, adding that the appointments must follow due process and federal character principles must be strictly adhered to.

The minister said the invitation of the VCs and Registrars of the nine universities to the inauguration of the new three varsities was intentional.

"We deliberately invited the VCs and Registrars so that they can interact with the new VCs and Registrars and share experiences that will guide them in the establishment of their universities," while she officially handed them their appointment letters.

The new vice-chancellors and registrars include Prof Shehu Abdul Rahman (from Nasarawa State), VC, Federal University Gashua, Yobe State and Alhaji Sule Dauda (from Yobe State), as the Registrar; Prof Lawal Suleiman Bilbis (from Zamfara State), VC, Federal University, Birnin-Kebbi, Kebbi State and Ibrahim Mugadi (from Kebbi State) as the Registrar.

Others are: Prof Ben Chuks Okeke (Anambra State), VC, Federal University Gusau, Zamfara State while Ibrahim Bawa Kaura is the Registrar.

Meanwhile, Prof Isaac Asuzu (from Imo State) has been appointed the new Vice-Chancellor of Federal University Oye-Ekiti to replace Prof. Chinedu Nebo who was recently appointed the minister of Power.

In the next few months, the vice-chancellors are expected to be working closely with the Ministerial Implementation Committee and the National Universities Commission (NUC) for the production of academic briefs, physical master plans and the university law documents.

The minister disclosed that the ministry has obtained approval from Mr President to access funds from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and a directive has been given to that effect.

In his vote of thanks, Prof. Julius Okojie, Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, said the establishment of the new universities was facilitated by the leadership of the Ministry of Education.

Speaking on behalf of the new vcs and registrars, Prof. Lawal Sulaiman appreciated the opportunity given to them to serve.

He said they would put in their best in the interest of the education sector, humanity and the nation.

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