FG receives reports of visitation panel to 88 tertiary institutions

• Institutions give priority to IGR at the expense of quality ― Panel report

The Federal Government has received the reports of the Presidential Visitation Panels to Federal universities and other tertiary institutions in the country.

The reports submitted to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu on Tuesday in Abuja by various chairmen of the panels indicated that tertiary institutions give priority to Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) at the expense of the quality of the system.

President Muhammadu Buhari on April 13, inaugurated the visitation panels of 38 federal universities, four Inter-University Centres, 25 polytechnics, 21 Colleges of Education and 4 inter-universities centres to review the performance of institutions.

The panels were set up as part of the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Chairman of the panel to the University of Abuja, Mr Bukar Aji, spoke on behalf of Chairmen of visitation panels of 88 institutions.

Aji said that at the inauguration of the panels, the committees took it upon themselves to address all 11 terms of reference given to the panel.

”We painstakingly took time to X-ray the entire university management and did our forensic work to come up with the report.

“We took time as the panel to see the extent of the white paper of the last visitation panel and we observed areas of disappointment.

“From approval of the last white paper at the University of Abuja, only about 45 per cent of the recommendations were implemented which may not be a pass mark.

“ We went an extra length to interact with faculties head, unions and others to get to the root of the problems in the university.

“From the recommendation that came out from our reports, it has been observed that the priorities given IGR is affecting qualities in our various institutions,” he said.

Aji, therefore, noted that the Federal Government had invested and still investing in tertiary institutions while calling for an improved quality to justify the government’s expenditure on institutions.

Responding, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu promised that adequate attention would be given to the recommendations resulting from the report.

While admitting that the panels were raised as part of demands of ASUU, said Federal Government has no basis to disagree with the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU) with their demands over the years.

“This visitation panel was one of the things they asked for and we have fulfilled all of them and this visitation has not been conducted in 10 years and this is actually two different visitations,” he said.

Adamu, represented by the Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukuemeka Nwajiuba, said that a committee would be set up to look into the white paper that would be drawn from the recommendations.

“The white paper that will be drawn from the recommendations of the reports will address the challenges thus identified in our tertiary institutions in the past years.

“It is hoped to mitigate the incessant friction between the staff unions of these institutions and government and result in the much desired industrial harmony.

“I want to assure the nation that government will give accelerated attention to the implementation of the white paper that will be produced from these,” he said.

The panels were to review the performance of the institutions in the areas of governance, standards, quality assurance, management of finances and relationship between management and staff.

They were also to look at the assessment of the condition of physical infrastructure and quality of instruction as well as instructional facilities and advise the government accordingly.

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