Sunday, 23 September 2012

UNIABUJA A Disgrace To Nigeria, Says Visitation Panel

University of Abuja has been described as a mockery to the institution of higher education in Nigeria.The special visitation panel set up in July this year by the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa'i, to review the

activities of the university made the declaration while submitting its report on Friday.

While submitting the report, Chairman of the panel, Theo Osanakpo, said the recommendations include the closely monitoring of the Vice Chancellor as well as periodical probe by the Governing Council to guarantee standard, having unravelled massive corruption, financial impropriety and mismanagement which retarded development in the institution.

The panel chairman also pointed out massive irregularity in the admission of students into the institution over the years and recommended that every prospective students of the institution should pass through the process of writing the Joint Admission and Matriculations Board (JAMB) examination as well as the post-UTME to set exemplary standards.

"I would say that UniAbuja is a mockery of the university system; the facilities at the mini campus do not reflect the funds that the Federal Government gives. There are no sporting facilities for students, no good lecture halls and the facility is way below the needs of the more than 70,000 students of the institution running the undergraduate, post graduate, sandwich, part-time and distance learning programmes."

According to the panel's report, in the last 24 years, the institution had only achieved six per cent of its full master plan which is supposed to achieve fully by 2025, just as the panel wondered how the institution can achieve such a target when the university's management has enveloped itself in financial recklessness.

It however advised the federal government to strictly monitor the administration of funds released to the institution, since the institution's management lacked the capability to govern the institution in terms of proper accounting procedures.

The panel further deplored the system of the institution's staffing as well as the environmental condition of the school and recommended the reinstatement of the institution's Students Union Government for better representation of students and effective interaction among them.

Receiving the report, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa'i commended the panel and described the institution as a huge challenge even though it was very close to the regulatory bodies.

She therefore revealed that President Goodluck Jonathan had approved the panel in a bid to resolve the issues brought to the fore through the report and assured that the recommendations would be promptly implemented.

It could be recalled that the panel, which mandate included the investigation of financial and governance system of the university since its establishment in 1988, was constituted shortly after students of the institution protested the ineffective running of the institution by its management which resulted in the de-accreditation of some of the courses offered in the university.

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