While a former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, is the Chairman, Governing Council of Federal University in Kashere, Gombe State; a former Deputy Governor of Osun State and ex-Minister of State for Defence, Chief Olusola Obada, heads the Governing Council of the Federal University in Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State.
A former Chief of Army Staff during the regime of the late dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, Lt. Gen. Ishaya Bamaiya (retd.), was also appointed Chairman, Governing Council of the Federal Polytechnic of Oil and Gas in Bonny, Rivers State.
Although Daniel and Bamaiyi were absent at the inauguration ceremony, Obada and others received their letters of authority.
At the event held on Tuesday in Abuja, the Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, inaugurated the Chairmen and Pro-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Governing Councils of 12 new federal universities and four new polytechnics and Board of National Library of Nigeria.
He cautioned them against undue interference in the day-to-day running of the institutions, adding that governing councils found wanting would be dissolved, even though they have not reached the constitutionally required provision of four years for universities and three years for polytechnics.
The Minister said, “Governing Councils should ensure that the funds allocated by government are judiciously utilized. They should also come up with ideas that will generate more revenue, outside government allocations.
“In the course of your tenure, you should ensure that proper attention and priority are accorded to the relevant University laws, Polytechnics Act and government guidelines in the appointment of principal officers and other staff. You must ensure that transparency, probity and due process are followed in the selection and appointment so that the best and the right candidates emerge for these positions.
“The idea that the Chief Executive or any principal officer should come from its locality is erroneous and alien to the system and should not be allowed to becloud your decisions. Merit should be the watchword and guiding principle.”
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Prof. Julius Okojie, cautioned the Governing Councils against exhibiting domineering attitude.
The NUC boss urged them to play their roles and strengthen the structure of the nation’s universities.