MINA Blog- Nigeria’s Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu on Tuesday in Abuja inaugurated the governing councils of eight federal polytechnics and six colleges of education and urged them to respect the federal character principle in the appointment of staff.
According to the minister, some Polytechnics and Colleges of Education had become parochial and primordial enclaves as the concept of universalism in education had been jettisoned, especially in matters regarding staff employment.
He urged the councils to work with the Federal Character Commission (FCC) to ensure compliance, while also urging them to revamp the quality output of higher education in the country.
” The drive to revamp the quality output of higher education in Nigeria rests squarely on the shoulders of prominent citizens like you.
” We are confident that you will bring your wealth of experience, adherence to and respect for the rule of law and due process to bear in the discharge of your duties.
” In accordance with the law, Council shall be the governing body of the institution with powers of general control and superintendence over the policy, finances, and properties of the institution.
‘The tenure of the Council is three years from the date of inauguration. It is, therefore, essential that you familiarise yourselves with the specific law establishing your institution.
” And as well with other relevant laws of the Federation. I urge you to exercise this power with utmost sense of responsibility and in the best interest of your institution,” he said.
The Minister said it was also imperative that the governing councils know the limits of their powers and how best to avoid situations of conflict in discharging their duties.
” I want to, particularly, draw your attention to the provisions of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) 2007.
”Prior to the enactment of this Act, the Governing Councils of Tertiary institutions were responsible for procurement matters, through the Council’s Tenders Board.
” However, with PPA 2007, the Chief Executives of all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) took over the responsibility for procurement matters.
” Thus, in the Polytechnics, the Rectors and his/her management are responsible for procurement, while in the Colleges of Education, the Provosts and his/her management teams are in charge of procurement,” he added.
The minister said it was however important for the Chief Executive to brief the Governing Councils regularly on all procurements, as it was done on all financial and other matters.
According to him, all Chairmen and members of the Governing Councils need to take due cognisance of this, as it had, in the past, led to unnecessary frictions between the Councils and Managements of some Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
Adamu stressed that poor management of funds had remained a major operational constraint in the sector.
He, therefore, said that the limited funds allocated by government should be judiciously utilised as it was evident that government cannot provide all the funds required to run the Federal Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
He advised councils to think out of the box to generate more revenue, outside government allocations.
” In this regard, Councils should enlist the support of philanthropic organisations, individuals and other sources of revenue through endowment for additional funding of their institutions.
” Councils should also adopt best practices and comply with statutory guidelines in the performance of their supervisory functions,” he said.
Adamu, therefore, urged them to emulate the global best practice that has worked well for the system.