By Favour Nnabugwu
The Special Visitation Panel set up for the by the Federal Government to look into the problems affecting the University of Abuja has submitted its report.
The 45-man panel made sweeping recommendations for the turn-around of the 24- year-old institution, part of which will require the abolition of some courses.
One of the key recommendations of the report submitted to government is that all unapproved programmes being run by the school should be discontinued.
Chairman of the 45- member panel, Theo Chike Osanakpo (SAN), revealed this while presenting the 300-page report to the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai, in her office last Friday.
He said the panel observed that the condition of facilities on both the Mini and Main campuses of the institution fell short of what was expected of a university.
According to the report, the master plan of the institution in terms of physical infrastructure, should have been attained by 2025, but that what was on ground today was a mere 6 per cent.
This is even as the university in its 24 years of existence, enjoyed an income of N35 billion.
Osanakpo said, “Having done an overhaul of the entire programmes in the institution, our finding and recommendation to government is that programmes that are not duly approved for the university should not be run by the university.
“Besides that, we also looked at governance and administration. We x-rayed the administration starting from the first Vice-Chancellor, Isa Mohammed, through to the current Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Adelabu and we also looked at governance by the respective governing councils from inception till date.
“Honourable Minister, you will recall that when we were inaugurated on Wednesday, 25 July, 2012, our first assignment was for us to look at the financial audit.
“On examination of the financial audit, the total amount of money from 1988 to 2012 that came into University of Abuja was about N35 billion.
“The more important thing is that, not withstanding this amount of money, our findings, observations and recommendations are that financial prudence must be enthroned.
“One of the ways to enthrone financial prudence in University of Abuja is to ensure that proper, pragmatic, practical accounting system is introduced to be able to check unnecessary wastages.”
The panel recommended that the VC should be benchmarked and given targets adding that a VC should not only be a sound academic but also a good manager of men and resources.
“University of Abuja needs a dynamic, pro-active, pragmatic governing council to be able to deal with the systemic challenges that the university faces.
“At the same time ensure that the chief executive officer is made at all times to adhere strictly to the extant rules governing Senate matters and also matters concerning to day-to- day running of the institution.”
In response, the Minister said government will look at the report with a view to implementing its recommendations.
She gave the Ag. Permanent Secretary two weeks within which to write a draft white paper for presentation to the President.