By Funmilayo Adeyemi
The Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, has made commitments towards addressing fundamental issues in the nation’s education sector.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Secretary-General, Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU), Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Mamman assured the delegation that President Bola Tinubu, a visitor to all federal universities is very serious about turning the nation around through education.
He noted that the president’s approach to governance is business-like and that all his ministers would be subjected to quarterly performance reviews.
“The ministry under his watch will address the fundamental structural issues from primary to tertiary education and work with all stakeholders to ensure that the sector is turned around.
“A key focus for the universities will be aligning educational outcomes to national productivity, research innovation and entrepreneurship among graduates to promote self-reliance and reduce dependence on white-collar jobs,” he said .
He expressed the ministry’s commitment to improving university education in the country.
In his response, the Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu, highlighted the security issue in Nigerian universities and referred to the recent kidnapping of students at the Federal University Gusau.
Sununu acknowledged the seriousness of the matter and expressed government’s commitment to addressing it adequately.
Also, the Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Lilian Salami, conveyed her appreciation to the minister for allowing the delegation to officially congratulate him on his appointment as the first serving Vice-Chancellor to become a Minister of Education.
Salami highlighted some key challenges faced by universities to include funding, recruitment of staff, universities’ autonomy, aspects of university laws that conflict with other laws, and unending industrial disputes with university-based unions.
While presenting the committee’s study report on “Challenges, Opportunities and Sustainable Models for Nigerian Federal Universities”, she said this would help to find lasting solutions to the challenges facing public and private universities.
She, therefore, formally invited the ministers to the diamond jubilee celebration of the committee, which will take place from Oct. 9 to Oct.11 in Abuja.
Some of the Vice Chancellors who were part of the delegation included Prof. Kabiru Adeyemo, of Lead City University; Dili Dogo of Nile University; Prof. Ibiyemi Bello, of Lagos State University (LASU), Fatima Tahir, of Bauchi State University and Prof. Allen Agih, of Niger Delta University.
Others are: Prof. Barnabas Qurix of Bingham University, Prof. Mu’azu Abubakar of the Federal University, Gusau and the Secretary-General, CVCNU, Prof. Yakubu Ochefu. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)