Group blames minister for illegal appointments in varsities
A non-governmental organisation, Concerned Citizens for Educational Development (CCED), has decried recent actions and policies of the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, as encouraging breach of procedures in the appointment of academic staff at the universities.
The group expressed worries that unless urgent steps are taken to reverse these ugly trends, the nation’s educational sector may be heading for implosion.
It expressed dismay at the several illegalities that now pervade the universities, in what it described as direct fallout from the wrongful sacking of vice chancellors of 13 federal universities by the minister.
In a letter to the minister dated April 26, 2016 and signed by the group’s National Convener, Solomon Adodo, it said these succeeding VCs have chosen to sideline the governing councils of their institutions in making key appointments.
It warned that the unfortunate implications are that merit is unwittingly replaced by mediocrity, while ineptitude and intimidation prevails, even as academic excellence and scholarship would take the back seat.
Using the case of the Federal University of Lokoja as an instance, the group alleged that the new vice-chancellor, being a product of the unilateral appointment by the education minister, has continued to make illegal appointments in the school.
Among the new appointments, it said, included that of Deputy Vice Chancellor, who was appointed without recourse to the institution’s governing council, as provided for by the act setting up the school.
The group also mentioned the appointment of the new Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Oye Ekiti, who is a retiree professor, noting that the extant laws setting up the federal universities does not permit such an appointment.
It further cited the case of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) with a unique establishment act, where the newly appointed vice chancellor has set in motion, plans to unilaterally scrap several study centers, which were meant to cater for the academically unreached persons in Nigeria.