The House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education on Monday gave some of the Federal Government owned Universities clean bill of health over their performances in the implementation of the 2016 budget as approved by the National Assembly.
The Committee Chaired by Hon Aminu Suleiman which gave the clearance in Abuja yesterday when the Heads of the Federal Universities appeared before it for their 2016 budget performance and the 2017 Budget defence however directed many of the Institutions to reappear before it this Thursday with relevant documents to back their submissions.
The Universities cleared are: University of Ilorin, Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, University of Ibadan, University of Nigeria, UNN, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Ahmadu Bello University,Zaria, University of Calabar, National Open University of Nigeria.
The rest are Federal University Wukari, Federal University Technology Minna, Michael Okpara University and University of Lagos.
Speaking, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon Suleiman stated that the affected Universities were cleared as the Sub Committee it set up to scrutinize their submissions and documents were satisfactory with all documents brought forward by the institutions.
According to him, “the universities are too many in numbers but these ones responded to our invitation on time, we then set up a sub -committee which went through their submissions and their submissions were satisfactory, so, there is no need keeping them here. We have to allow them to go and attend to others.”
The Committee assured the University administrators of adequate funding in the 2017 budget but advised them to devote more funds for their researches and learning and spent less on tours and travels, electricity, purchase of diesel, repairs and overhead cost generally.
It also urged the universities to ensure strict compliance with the federal character policy of the Federal Government in the area of staff recruitment since the Universities were owned by the federal Government and frowned at the case of one of the Universities where only 21 States had representation out of the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, saying that such a practice would no longer be tolerated in the Country.
In their presentations, the university administrators complaints lack of adequate funding of the institutions and pleaded for the immediate intervention of the lawmakers through improvement of their budgetary allocation in the 2017 budget proposal to enable them meet their obligation, lamenting the growth in the students intakes with total reduction in their annual budgets.
Speaking on the clean bill of health given to some of the Universities, the Vice chancellor of the university of Ilorin, Professor Abdul Ganiyu Ambali commended the committee for recognition excellence and diligent work which he said were the hallmark of the university.