The Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Federal Universities (CVCNU) has elected the Vice-Chancellor of University of Benin, Prof. Lilian Salami as its chairman.
This is contained in a statement signed by its Secretary General, Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, in Abuja on Thursday.
Ochefu said that the new chairman was unanimously elected at its meeting held at its secretariat in Abuja.
He said that the Vice-Chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, Prof. Sagir Abbas was also elected as the Alternate Chairman.
Ochefu said that the secretariat wishes the two members of the Executive Board of the Committee success as they take over the mantle of leadership.
Recall that until the election of Salami, she was the Alternate Chairman to Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, who will be completing his tenure as the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ilorin on Oct. 15With the election, she becomes the second female Vice-Chancellor to head the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Federal Universities.
The Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) has set up a sustainable peace team to resolve the lingering impasse between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The former Secretary General of CVCNU, Prof. Michael Faborode, and the Co-coordinator of the team, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday, through ‘The Sustainable Peace Team Working Paper’.
He said that the desire of the team was not to allow the current deadlock in the ASUU strike negotiations to take hold, as the toll of the strike on all stakeholders and the nation had been colossal.
According to him, to arrive at the final list, no serving vice chancellor or pro-chancellor is included and membership was based on record of service as recorded by the CVCNU.
He said that the team comprised of Prof. Jibril Aminu, former Vice Chancellor, University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID); Emeritus Prof. Olufemi Bamiro, former Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan (UI); Prof. Ekanem Braide, President, Academy of Science; and Dr Nkechi Nwagogu, former Pro-Chancellor, University of Calabar (UNICAL).
Other members of the team are Prof. Joe Ahaneku, former Vice Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK); Prof. Fatima Mukhtar, former Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Dutse; and Prof. Akpan Ekpo, former Vice Chancellor of University of Uyo (UNIUYO).
Also in the team are Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, Secretary General, Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU), and Prof. Michael Faborode, former Secretary General, CVCNU and former Vice Chancellor, OAU.
“We should not fold our hands and watch our ‘house’ collapse on us as elders.
So, we should speak or act now.
“We do not have any other industry other than the university system.
“Whatever can be done to bring all the actors to reason and broker peace using the Prof. Nimi Briggs committee recommendations as the fulcrum, will be worth the effort.
“A lot had been done already and such patriotic efforts should not be wasted nor despised,” he said.
Faborode said that the “Peace Team of Elders” would operate under the auspices of the .
According to him, both the Federal Government and ASUU are being reached to accept the intervention of the independent team of elders.
“The Team will liaise with the Prof. Nimi Briggs committee to understand the basis of the elements of their proposals, and check with both the federal government and ASUU to identify the areas of concern and objection.
“Afterwards the team will brainstorm on how to mitigate the thorny areas and work with all the parties to bring the imbroglio to an amicable end in the interest of all concerned and the nation.
“The meetings and consultations will be mainly online by Zoom and perhaps finally face-to-face to safe costs once we make progress.
This is however subject to review as we proceed,” he explained.
Faborode said that the team had itemised some preliminary considerations that could shape parties understanding and way forward.
He said that this was because the deadlock in the crisis seemed to be getting more disturbing with the federal government maintaining a strong stance of “no-work, no-pay” and ordering ASUU to go back to work.
He said this had also made ASUU to firmly prolong the strike to become indefinite as both sides were unwilling to proceed with further negotiation or discussions.
“How do we engage with the Nimi Briggs committee?
I am personally in touch with the chairman, and he feels the outstanding issues are not insurmountable.
“These include federal government raising its offer of salary increase from 23% to may be 50% that will ensure a Professor receives up to N800,000 monthly as opposed to the negotiated N1.2 million.
“Also, the review of the decision on salaries during strike to a mid-position, not 0% nor 100% as ASUU wants.
How can we further this admonition to both sides?
“Fundamentally, the following facts should be noted: the subsisting condition of Nigerian higher education is unacceptable and inconsistent with the economic development roles envisaged for them.
“Things have been allowed to deteriorate for too long, This, must be halted by all as we embark on an integrated revitalisation agenda in the education sector, in the interest of our economic development,” Faborode said.
He, therefore, called on the National Assembly to play its role in providing a sustainable solution of raising for the effective running of the universities.
Stephen Ibelli, Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Consulate in Lagos, says the U.S. Mission is committed to building long term partnership between Nigerian institutions and the United States.
Ibelli made this known on Tuesday, at the Inaugural Nigerian Higher Education Conference, held at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
The conference was themed: “Opening New Frontiers: Mobilising Stakeholders to build Long Term Partnership Between U.S. and Nigeria Institutions of Higher Education.
According to him, the conference is to explore opportunities to forge institutional partnerships between U.S. and Nigerian universities on international joint and dual degrees.
It is also to promote virtual and in-person faculty and students’ exchanges.
“The world has changed since the pandemic as we leverage technology to innovate in many work spaces and education, so this is why we are here to bridge the gap of technologies between American and Nigerian Universities.
“The conference would help us to learn from each other as we establish good networking between each other, which in turn would be of great reward for the students and universities,” he said.
Ibelli described Nigeria as the most strategic partner of the U.S in Africa, noting that 13,000 students come to the U.S. yearly for education.
He said that hybrid and online programmes were being encouraged amongst universities so as to increase their revenue generation.
“Nigeria ranks as the tenth country in the world in which students come to the U.S. for world class education and its diversity.
“It is important to leverage the technology and connect one another using the Nigerian and American system to find that common ground so as to forge a new chapter in both countries,” he said.
Mr Chris Maiayaki, Deputy National Secretary of the NUC, said that major reforms were being carried out across universities in the country.
He said that the present curriculum was being reviewed so as to be up to global practice.
“Nigerian universities are going to transnational education, e-learning, as we have realised that we cannot operate on our own terms and we must move with what is happening around the world.
“We need to reboot our educational system by carrying out reforms, and also, the current curriculum being used has to be in tune with the rest of the world.
“We also expanding our international portfolio, our mainstream education, as we know that this and many others would help strengthen our educational system,” he said.
He said that the NUC would be issuing licences to 12 private universities on Thursday.
This, he said, would help in bridging the shortfall of universities in the country.
He said that the industrial action experienced in universities would be resolved, as all major stakeholders were keen on finding a long lasting solution to the issues.
Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, Secretary General, Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) said that the country needed to analyse the philosophy of education, especially in the age of technology and revolution.
He said that governance, proper funding and compensation models were key components in improving the educational sector in the country.
Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, said that the conference would help in improving the universities in the country.
Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, on Wednesday urged the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Universities in the country to implement the 60:40 ratio policy of science and engineering courses.
The minister gave the advice, when Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, Secretary-General, Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities came on a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja.
Onu said implementing the policy would stimulate innovation and economic growth for the nation.
He offered to assist Nigerian Universities by protecting their intellectual property through patents, adding that inventors and innovators could be discouraged if their intellectual outputs were not protected.
“Intellectual property must be protected because intellectual theft discourages innovation,” he said.
Onu pledged that the ministry in collaboration with universities would lead the way in ensuring that the Nigerian economy was transformed from resources-based to knowledge and innovation-driven.
According to him, universities are critical to the nation’s future, while canvassing for the need for Africa to embrace technology in order to cope with the challenge of increase in population.
“There is a need for Nigeria to embrace the new technology in view of its rising population, because in the next 30 years Nigeria may be the third most populous nation in the world,” the minister said.
Earlier, Ochefu said that the Committee would work closely with government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), to proffer solutions to local and international challenges.
He added that the Committee had come up with an innovation to help checkmate plagiarism and intellectual theft in the Universities.
The professor disclosed that the Committee of Vice-Chancellors was established in 1962 as a platform to share ideas and drive developmental processes.
“Since its establishment, the Committee has grown from strength to strength such that there are now 174 Federal, State and Private Universities in Nigeria today.
“The secretariat manages the day-to-day workings of the Vice-Chancellors in line with global best practices.
“The Committee shall seek ways of collaborating with the ministry on how to deepen research and development in the country,” Ochefu said.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
The Minister of works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola has underscored the need for Nigerian Universities to provide well structured plans on the creation of infrastructure in their campuses to woo investors.
He made this assertion when the Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities led by it’s Secretary General, Prof. Yakubu Ochefu paid him a courtesy visit in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him, investors want to be sure of the returns on their investments.
“When we talk about money, I say to people what is the plan, because if there is a good plan money will follow.
“This PPP initiative we are talking about, what is the plan? why can’t we have a plan, let us start off with hostels, students are paying something or the other but is there a structured plan to ensure that there is land.
“We need to make sure that the land is safe, to do a survey about students willingness to pay.
“What is the average size of rooms available, what is the comparative market cost, transport cost that you save if you live in that hostel.
“Those are the things investors are looking for, how long are the academy years and what kind of guarantee you give the investor that the school will not be broken by one strike or the other, ” Fashola said.
He noted that these were the issues that the association must resolve before looking for investors.
He assured the association of his support and collaboration, adding that there are too many things for the universities to do.
He said the world is evolving with data and the data was sitting in the universities.
Fashola called on the vice Chancellors to put these data into a useful form to improve the government and businesses.
He also advised the association to check the award of honorary degree to individuals because of their political position but that such awards should be given to people because of their impactful contribution to nation building.
Fashola said in this way youths could be inspired to be solution creators and problem solvers.
“The creation of universities is for an investment into the future.
Earlier, the Secretary General of the association, Prof. Yabuku Ochefu commended the minister for the building roads in nation’s university campuses.
We have followed very keenly the work that you have done since you became minister, especially as it affects Nigerian universities and we do know that the single purpose that your drive the whole process of constructing roads in our universities.
“The vice Chancellors were very elated that for the first time we saw the presence of the Federal Government through the ministry of works activitively in fixing roads in the universities.
“We know that with the way you are working you will definitely do more for the universities.
“We also know that universities are looking for public private partnerships; creating funds for infrastructure is one of your strong points.
“We will also like to engage you to share ideas and experiences with the aim of creating funds for infrastructure projects in the universities.
“To the specific aspect of CVC at 60, it was important to put together a compendium to celebrate the occasion and believe that your contribution to it will be very useful as once you had been a visitor to the Lagos State University.
“Also as a governnor of Lagos State and how you turned around the university we want you to share your ideas with us in the compendium.
Ochefu also disclosed that the association had come up with a version of the History of Nigeria to be used in all schools nationwide.
The association was established in October 1962 as a clearing house for all universities to share knowledge and experience and promote best academic practices.
Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)
The Committee of Vice Chancellors of Universities (CVC) has condemned the removal of the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos (Unilag), Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, without due process.
The committee also condemned appointment of an acting vice chancellor for the university outside the university’s three deputy Vice-Chancellors.
Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, Secretary-General, CVC, expressed the view of the committee while fielding questions from newsmen on Friday in Abuja.
“The chairman of the council knows that the tenure of two members of the council has expired, so he waited for the members not to be in council to get the majority vote.
“It is like a hatchet job, we don’t want it to appear like that because of the integrity of University of Lagos.
”The integrity is very high and we don’t want council members to degenerate to that situation.
” As it is now, we have a stalemate and it is looking more in favour of the university senate than the council,” he told journalists.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Unilag’s Governing Council headed by Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN) removed Ogundipe at its meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.
The removal was over allegations of infractions and gross misconduct.
The council appointed Prof. Theophilus Omololu Soyombo of the Faculty of Social Sciences the Acting Vice-Chancellor.
However, the institution’s Senate and all its workers unions have condemned Ogundipe’s removal, saying it flouted the university’s regulations.
They all made a vote of confidence on Ogundipe on Thursday and vowed not to recognise the acting vice-chancellor.
Ogundipe has also said he is still the vice chancellor, urging the public to disregard news of his removal.
According to Ochefu, the extant law of the university states that if a vice-chancellor is removed, one of the deputies should be appointed to act.
“Unilag has three deputies, none of them was appointed as acting vice-chancellor but somebody else entirely.
“This is going to pose another problem, senate members will not allow such a person to chair their meeting because they don’t know him within the context of laws establishing universities,” he said.
Ochefu also called on the Unilag Governing Council to follow due process in the removal of a vice chancellor by providing Ogundipe an opportunity to defend himself.
He noted that though the law establishing universities gave the council the power to hire and fire a vice chancellor, it should not be done in an arbitrary process.
“The challenge we have with this particular action is that the university community says the council did not follow due process; indeed, the communication from the embattled vice chancellor is clear and it is to that effect.
“In the procedure for removing a vice chancellor, you have to set up a joint council/senate committee.
”The vice-chancellor will be given the opportunity to defend himself; from there, a submission will be made to the council which will take a decision,” Echefu said.
According to him, the situation in Unilag at the moment is unhealthy for the foremost university.
”As CVC, we advise the council to take a step back and allow the process of removing a vice chancellor, as established by the law, to take its course.
“It is a simple process. If it finds the man guilty, the council can remove him, but it should go through the normal process,” he said.
He noted that fair hearing remained
a fundamental human right..
Edited By: Chinyere Bassey/Ijeoma Popoola (NAN)
Dr George Akume, Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs has applauded the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) for its services to the education sector, saying it could perform better with availability of financial supports.
Akume gave the commendation when he received the Committee of Vice Chancellors (CVC) in his office in Abuja, seeking support of the ministry for the organisation’s 60 years anniversary.
In a statement issued by Mrs Julie Osagie, Deputy Director Press, office of Ministry of Special Duty, Akume said that such support could only be achieved through citizens’ response to tax payment.
The Minister, therefore, urged Nigerians to be faithful tax payers to enable TETFUND fund the education sector properly in the country.
News Agency of Nigeria recalls that TETFUD was esterblished in 2011, to administer and disburse funds to Federal and State tertiary educational institutions, specifically for the development of the sector.
The institution was also mandated to maintain essential physical infrastructure for teaching and learning.
“The challenges in the educational sector are many, especially in the area of funding and space, if our resources are properly managed, TETFUND can be better placed to support University education in the country.
“With harnessing of resources, the Federal Government can deliver in the provision of basic amenities especially in the education sector, ” Akume said.
Akume noted that TETFUND was established to improve education tax revenue and make such available for education intervention programmes.
He, however, seized the opportunity to call on Universities in the country yet to key into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) to do so.
According to him, the migration of Universities to IPPIS for salary payments will ensure effectiveness and efficiency of payroll administration.
He expressed pleasure with the outstanding performance of Nigerian Universities over the years.
Earlier, the leader of the CVC, Prof. Yakubu Ochefu said that the main reason for visiting the minister was to solicit the Ministry’s cooperation and support for the commemoration of 60 years of the founding of the CVC.
“The CVC is seeking for assistance in the production and publication of a compendium of Universities in the country that will serve as an information memorandum.
“This is in addition to research and production of a documentary on the establishment and history of the CVC.
He recalled that CVC was an organisation established in 1962 by a resolution adopted at a meeting of Vice Chancellors of five Nigerian Universities.
The organisation was esterblished with a vision for the attainment of academic excellence through cooperation and exchange of ideas.
Edited By: Nick Nicholas/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Former Vice Chancellor of Kwararafa University, Taraba, Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, on Tuesday in Abuja, called for a unified data system for the country.
He made the call in an interview with Nigeria News Agency .
He said that integration of data collected in the last 15 years unto a unified data system would provide the country with single pool of data on all citizens, which could be shared when the need arose.
According to him, the underlying idea of centralised database is to avoid duplication, where different agencies have different information on same individual at different times.
Ochefu said “I think the Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC) is working toward integrating the various database in the country to have a single pool.
“From the banking sector, the Federal Road Safety Corps, from Nigeria Immigration service, from institutions of higher learning, from telecommunication sector, we can tap from one pool.
“All data collected in the last 15 years will now be integrated unto a collective block and be maintained as one.
“If we do that, we have solved almost 90 per cent of issues of data management in this country.”
Edited by: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
The Chairman of Action Democratic Party (ADP), Benue chapter, Prof. Yakubu Ochefu, has urgedthe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
to mandate political parties to digitise their membership register.
Ochefu made the call in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Abuja.
He said the call became necessary in view of the need to address some of the irregularities in the country’s electoral process.
According to him, digitised party membership register will go a long way to stop party members from holding multiple positions,
as well as jumping from one political party to another without proper resignation.
He said that online registration of party members could have averted some anomalies that were not anticipated at the just
concluded party primaries ahead of 2019 general elections.
primaries, we can easily know who is eligible to vote in a particular ward because that is where he or she has been captured.
“As it is now, that you are not able to drive that process, we have a situation whereby a member of ADP in Otukpo Local
Government is also a member of Social Democratic Party in Agatu and a member of Peoples Democratic Party in Makurdi.
“In some cases, even those holding executive positions have been able to manipulate it because there is nobody checking.
“INEC can drive that process and mandate political parties to digitise their membership register and use electronic voting in their
“This will enable us to know that people are not holding multiple political positions or jumping from one political party to another
without properly resigning.”
The party state chairman accused some state governors of truncating efforts to drive the process, saying
“some state governors know very well that direct primaries would kill their ambition to impose their candidates, so, they work
Edited by: Celine-Damilola Oyewole/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu