FG Reconstitutes Governing Councils of Public Tertiary Institutions

By Joke Kujenya

NIGERIA’s FEDERAL government has reconstituted the governing councils of public tertiary institutions, a move confirmed by Folasade Boriowo, head of media at the Federal Ministry of Education.

This development comes nearly a year after the National Universities Commission (NUC) dissolved the councils of all federal universities following a presidential directive in June 2023.

The dissolution had extended to the governing boards of various government-funded parastatals, agencies, and educational institutions, halting administrative decision-making in universities, colleges of education, and federal polytechnics.

These institutions were compelled to seek ministerial approval for functions traditionally overseen by their governing councils.

After 11 months of persistent appeals from education stakeholders, including the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the government has responded. ASUU had been vocal about the adverse effects of the absence of governing councils, citing increased “illegality and flagrant violation” of institutional autonomy in public universities.

Chris Maiyaki, the NUC’s executive secretary, announced that a committee was established to ensure the appointment of the most qualified individuals to the councils.

“As soon as they are constituted, they will undergo orientation courses to align with the expectations of government structures and institutional laws,” Maiyaki stated. “This will also address cross-cutting issues to restore our institutions’ former glory.”

In a significant move, the Federal Government approved the appointment of 555 individuals to serve as chairpersons and members of the governing councils for 111 federal universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education.

President Bola Tinubu sanctioned the list of nominees, selected by the Ministry of Education.

An advertorial by the Ministry of Education, confirmed by the permanent secretary, Mrs. Didi Esther Walson-Jack, detailed the appointments and the upcoming inauguration and retreat for the new governing councils.

Scheduled for May 30 and 31, 2024, at the National Universities Commission in Abuja, the events aim to prepare the new council members for their roles, noting that the appointments were timely, following ASUU’s ultimatum to the government, threatening to strike over the delay in reconstituting the governing councils.

Also, ASUU had recently criticized the government’s indifference to academic issues in federal universities and condemned the recent salary increments, which they deemed insufficient.

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