The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has accused governors of hijacking the process of appointing vice-chancellors for federal universities due to apathy in the selection processes.
Mr Adamu disclosed this on Thursday, in Abuja, while inaugurating the chairmen and governing councils of 19 federal universities, four inter-university centres, and the new pro-chancellor and chairman of the council of the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo.
He described this vested interest as responsible for the unimaginable crises in the selection processes of vice-chancellors for those particular universities in the country, citing the development as ”unnecessary frictions and tension in the institutions.”
Mr Adamu, who enjoined the Governing Councils to take charge and exercise their rights, urged them not to allow outside influence in the selection process of the new vice-chancellors of their institutions.
According to him, the Federal Ministry of Education, under his watch, had not in any way interfered with the selection of any vice-chancellor, and ”I have not talked to any chairman that I have any candidate.”
“Unfortunately, I found out that because of my lack of interest, or because I feel I should allow you (the council) to exercise your right, it is being hijacked by the governors. It is your right; don’t sell it to them. The law stipulates that, and we are giving you full independence, don’t sell it to them.
“It is, therefore, essential that you familiarise yourselves with the specific laws establishing your university or centre, as well as with other relevant laws of the federation. You should, in particular, be guided by the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act of 1993 and its various amendments (of 2003 and 2012),” Mr Adamu said.
He also urged them to adhere to Section 2AAA of the 2003 Amendment Act strictly.
“The Act stipulates: ‘The Governing Council of a university shall be free in the discharge of its functions and exercise of its responsibilities for the good management, growth, and development of the university.’
“Section 3 (4) of the same 2003 Amendment reposes on council the power to appoint the vice-chancellor of the university. I urge you to exercise this power with the utmost sense of responsibility and in the best interest of your universities,” added the minister.
Mr Adamu explained that the reconstitution of the governing councils of the federal universities was coming at the appropriate time, as the government recently constituted visitation Panels to the universities.
He disclosed that the panels had rounded off their assignments and would soon submit their reports in two separate volumes, covering January 2011 to December 2015 and January 2016 to December 2020, respectively.