The National Universities Commission (NUC) and the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) have stressed the need to ensure that flexible physical master plan is evolved and followed to the later in Nigeria’s university development plans.
The two bodies also said that procurement procedures should be strictly adhered to.
The advice was contained in two separate papers presented by the Executive Secretary, NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed and Mr Mamman Ahmadu of BPP at a 4-day workshop organised by the Committee of Directors of Works and Physical Planning Units of Nigerian Universities ( CDW and PPNU) in Abuja.
Presenting the paper themed: “The Significance of Masterplan Development, Review and its Implementation in Nigerian Universities”, Prof. Rasheed who decried non-implementation of the provisions in the Physical Development Plans by Universities in the country over the years urged those saddled with the responsibility of University administration to work closely towards successful implementation of the mission and vision statement of the institution.
“The implementation will ensure an orderly development and create a built-environment for university education that is learning, teaching, and research conducive as has been captured in the Act that established NUC.
“Until recently, Tertiary educational institutions in Nigeria did not realise the importance of the Academic Brief and the Physical Master plan documents in guiding the future developmental activities at the various campuses,” he said.
He expressed regret that many of them still consider these documents as items of prestige or as on-the-shelf showpiece whose provisions could be ignored without any significant consequence.
Prof. Rasheed who took his time to explain the concept of university development and strategic plans, academic brief, budget, their types and how they could be managed to effectively impact the overall development of the institutions in his 22-page paper, listed some of the inherent consequences of lack of planning or poor planning in the universities to include inadequate infrastructure, haphazard physical development, unsightly environment, overcrowded classrooms, halls and residences, abandoned projects, adding that the phenomenon has contributed to the innumerable crises experienced in the University system.
He also admonished that physical master plan document be flexible enough to accommodate changing circumstances and contingencies.
On his part while presenting his paper on “Planning and Managing Construction and Maintenance of Infrastructure in Tertiary Institutions”, Ahmadu of BPP gave an elaborate lecture on the concept of procurement, Nigeria’s Public Procurement Reform, drivers of public procurement and the authorities, public assets, administrative/managerial ethics, implementation and compliance issues, and the offences and sanctions there-in.
According to him, “Public Procurement is the use of public funds by public entities for the delivery of public goods, works and services usually through a third party (contractor),” and the process “encompasses a sequence of related activities starting with assessment of needs through to contract award, contract management, and then final payment”.
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