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Tinubu Approves Over 500 for Governing Boards of Federal Tertiary Institutions


President Bola Tinubu has approved the nomination of over 555 individuals to serve as Pro-Chancellors/Chairmen and Governing Board members for 111 federal universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education across Nigeria. These appointments followed recommendations from the Ministry of Education.

The Presidency confirmed the list’s origin from the Ministry of Education. “This is from the Federal Ministry of Education… they make the nominations and forward them to the President to sign. But they are at liberty to release it from their end,” said Bayo Onanuga, the President’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy.

These appointments come shortly after the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) threatened a nationwide strike, potentially disrupting the academic calendar. The union criticized the Federal Government for delaying the appointment of Governing Councils for federal universities and accused the administration of a nonchalant attitude toward academic matters.

ASUU also expressed dissatisfaction with the recent 35% salary increase for professors and 25% for other academic staff, calling for more substantial measures to address the sector’s issues. The union’s president, Emmanuel Osodeke, emphasized the need to restore the dignity of the academia in Nigeria.

Minister of Education, Prof Tahir Mamman. Source: Tahir Mamman/Twitter

The list of appointed individuals, released by the Federal Ministry of Education on Saturday, includes notable technocrats, politicians, and traditional rulers. Among the appointees are former INEC Chairman Attahiru Jega, Senior Advocate of Nigeria Yusuf Alli, former NUC Executive Secretary Peter Okebukola, and labour activist Issa Aremu.

Attahiru Jega will chair the Governing Council of Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto (UDUS). Yusuf Alli will head the council for the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Peter Okebukola for the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB), and Issa Aremu for the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT).

Other appointees include former Bauchi State Governor Isa Yuguda, who will chair the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN); former Senator Joy Emordi, who will lead the council for Alvan Ikoku Federal University of Education, Owerri; and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation Yayale Ahmed, who will chair Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.

The appointments also feature Adamu Rasheed, the immediate-past Executive Secretary of NUC, who will chair the Governing Council of the Federal University of Health Sciences, Otukpo.

Prof Mamman (centre) with officials of the ministry at an event.

The inauguration and retreat for the newly appointed Governing Councils are scheduled for May 30 and 31, 2024, at the National Universities Commission in Abuja. According to the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Didi Esther Walson-Jack, both events will commence at 9:00 AM daily.

These developments come after months of contention following the dissolution of all federal university governing councils in June, directed by President Tinubu. ASUU has labelled the dissolution “illegal,” claiming it has led to various irregularities within the Nigerian University System.

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