Modibbo Mohammed, the Pro Chancellor and Chairman of University of Abuja Governing Council, says the university varsity has started a 24-hour security patrol within the campus and the parameters of the university to prevent a repeat of the recent kidnapping that occurred at the its staff quarters.
“We have also employed additional hunters, vigilantes to patrol in areas that are not fenced because it is a very vast land,” Mohammed said on the side line of retreat organised by the University Council for Principal Officers, Deans, Directors and the university Based Unions at the weekend.
He said the management of University of Abuja will do anything humanly possible to ensure security of lives and properties at the university and the staff quarters.
On the state of the staff quarters which was reported to be in a deplorable state, he said, “Our staff housing is below standard. I am ashamed of the sort of accommodation our staff are living in.”
“The council has met the minister of FCT and he has assured us to do something soon. And a delegation will soon go to FERMA to come in and give the university special consideration especially the roads within the mini campus and the residential areas,” he added.
“We will definitely partner with government agencies, we will attract funding and invite investors and discuss with government to build befitting houses that befits a university lecturer status.”
Speaking on the theme of the retreat, “Navigating Myriad of Challenges in Managing Universities in Today’s World” the Pro Chancellor said they all have a role in repositioning the university by thinking out of the box to surmount the never ending challenges they struggle to carry out their duties.
He identified problems of funding and staff attitude to work among other reasons for organizing the retreat, adding that the retreat would hopefully chat a new course for the university.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah said many factors exists that are fighting the university and that many staff do not do their duties but collect public salary, “they do not come to work on time, some do not teach while others spend just an hour and leave.”
“If we must attain the greatness and if we are ready to serve Nigeria truthfully speaking we must put all these things aside, and stop rumours and allegations. If we ready to move forward we must jettison the past,” he said
He said the university must be a class of its own and does not need to drag or copy others as it is destiny for other universities to look up to it for excellence and copy them in the concentration of funding, admission, structures and competitiveness , etc.
On his part the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Education, Arch Sonny Echono said the retreat was put together to explain the separation of powers and roles to avoid conflicts in the university.
He said retreat has proven to be useful and improved governing of universities.
Echono noted that Nigerian universities are faced with various contemporary challenges of sustainable funding, autonomy, industrial harmony, institutional ranking, compliance with status regulations and enhanced governance and administration.
He opined that to address and mitigate these challenges, the universities will need to remain proactive and continue to come up with appropriate responses particularly in this knowledge driven era.
“A veritable tool in this regard is regular interface between members of councils and principal officers and other stakeholders involved in management of university,” he said.
On issue of university sustainable funding, he said: “I am of the very strong view that as long as we depend on government budgeting to run university systems, given inadequate priority given to the education sector coupled with other external factors and dwindling resources, expectation from the budgets will continue to remain a challenge.”
He said funding should be determined based on cost in a particular course of study and what it takes to produce a student over the course of duration of that programme and every stakeholder should partake in it.
“If our government is interested in saying no tuition, from such calculation you will be able to now what constitutes a component of tuition in fees,” he said.