The federal government has warned vice chancellors of federal universities to desist from creating duplicates of responsibilities for their aides as the action has placed unnecessary burden on the wage bills allocated to the universities.
The warning which came from the minister of education, Prof Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i during the presentation report carried out by the visitation panel to federal universities and inter-university centres in 26 federal universities and three inter-university centres stated that offices of personal assistants, special assistants, senior special assistants and advisers could be merged.
She said the five-year statutory activity devised by the federal government to check the activities of the universities has led to the approval of the white paper for the 2010 visitation exercise for implementation by the councils and management of the concerned institutions as ‘some VC’s have resorted to the creation of unnecessary directorates in the attempt to find duties for their aides or friends of university administration.
She said governing council members must never betray their honour to borrow from custodial funds belonging to the university and must ensure that funds not required for immediate use be deposited in government securities. She said there must be a limit to the award of honorary degrees to truly deserving persons as this has been carried out without prejudice to the powers of the senate of universities.
In the same vein, the minister who appealed for optimum standards said that first class graduates should be given automatic employment as graduate assistants and mentored appropriately thereafter to stem the tide of brain drain from the sector and ‘In order to inject fresh minds into the system and encourage succession plan.’
Concerning sporting activities, the minister said ‘universities should accept to host sporting activities that will not overburden their scarce resources. The responsibility to raise fund will rest squarely on the shoulders of the university that has willingly accepted to host the event’ and institutions must seek partnerships to augment the budget instead of solely depending on government budgetary allocation.
She observed that there are unambiguous extant regulations guiding the remunerations of governing council members, adding ‘Councils have not been empowered to determine for themselves their remunerations’ as it is a pride and honour to have external members on the councils of federal institutions and their presence should not constitute an unnecessary drain on scarce resources.