The Federal Government has inaugurated the governing councils of five federal universities, four of whose councils were dissolved for their inability to discharge their duties in line with the provisions of the law.
The affected universities were the University of Lagos, the University of Port Harcourt, the University of Ibadan, and the Maritime University Okerenkoko.
The fifth university is the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, which had no council since the expiration of the tenure of the Dr Yemi Ogunbiyi-led Council, three months ago.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu during the inauguration said that the council chairmen were selected after a considerable assessment of circumstances that led to the dissolution of the four councils and the need to ensure stability, continuity and rebuild confidence in the institutions.
Adamu who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Sonny Echono enjoined the Councils to adopt best practices and comply with statutory guidelines in the performance of their supervisory functions.
He cautioned the governing councils against conflicts which according to him are capable of undermining the smooth running of the institutions.
“The challenges which Governing Councils should tackle in the course of their tenure is the appointment of Principal Officers. In this regard, Councils should enlist the support of philanthropic organizations and individuals for additional funding of their institutions. Council can also explore other sources of revenue through endowments
“The Council must ensure that proper attention and priority is accorded to relevant University Laws and Government Guidelines in the process of such appointments.“ the Minister added.
The newly appointed Chairmen are Chief John Odigie Oyegun Chairman Governing Council University of Ibadan, Chief Lanre Tejuosho Chaian University of Lagos Council, Sen. Andrew Uchendu
Chairman University of PortHarcourt, Chief Oscar Udoji, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and Dr Elias Eddi Courson Chairman Governing Council of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenko
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof Rasheed Abubakar pointed out that the task before the council is enormous and that the challenges of the universities are legendary.
‘’As Council Members, the task before you is enormous and the challenges are legendary. We appeal to you to continue to support our collective efforts towards repositioning our universities to enable our institutions to drive Nigeria’s inevitable transition to a knowledge based economy, ‘’ he noted.