The Executive Secretary, NUC, Professor Julius A. Okojie, said the issue of Governing Councils had been a topical one, adding that no university could operate effectively without a Council. He said the Nigerian University System (NUS) had a combination of proprietorship, namely federal, state and private, with privately-owned universities constituting Boards of Trustees (BOT)to oversee the running of the institutions and serve as liaisons between the proprietors and other stakeholders.

Hajia Hindatu Abdullahi Umar FME Director, Tertiary Education
Professor Okojie stated that with the Autonomy Act, universities Governing Councils had been vested with more responsibilities. They had also been given the right to hire and fire Vice-Chancellors of their institutions. He expressed pleasure at the composition of the Councils, adding that they were expected to justify the confidence reposed on them.

He enumerated some of the challenges of the ivory tower to include town and gown relationships, issues of land acquisition and examination malpractice, saying that, with the right crop of individuals, these challenges were not insurmountable.

He told the members that the Minister, being an academic, was willing to provide necessary support for the proper development of the NUS. The Executive Secretary stated that integrity and responsibility werekey to the success of the Councils andthat accountability was necessary forthe development of the institutions. He condemned the absence of Governing Councils in some of the private institutions, stating that henceforth, any university without a Governing Council would be closed down.

He charged the Councils to provide proper oversight function to the universities and promote good relationships with the university management, for the progress of the institutions. He reiterated the Commissions resolve to, with the authorisation of the federal government, dismiss and prosecute any Vice-Chancellor who commenced unapproved programmes. In a situation

Mr. Akinbode Agbaoye Deputy Executive Secretary, NUC stated that,
where a Governing Council resisted the dismissal of a Vice-Chancellor, the Council as well as the defaulting Vice-Chancellor, would be sacked.

Chief Don Etiebet receiving the letters of appointment for the UNIJOSCouncil from the Minister
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, who was represented by the Director, Human Resources, Mr. F. O. Ikibeh said each Council would have a representative from the Ministry, whose responsibility was to guide the Council in policy matters. In a goodwill message, Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, told the Council members that they had been chosen to tackle the challenges of the institutions and urged them to see the appointment as a call to service.

He said the two major challenges facing tertiary education were underfunding and mismanagement of available funds and called on the Councils to imbibe transparency and ensure that funds were judiciously utilised. He advised members to use their affiliations, both within and outside the country, to attract funds and goodwill for their universities, to augment government allocations.

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