The presidential visitation panel set up by the federal government to review the performance of the University of Lagos from 2016-2020 has said that the governing council has power to hire and fire the vice chancellor.
The panel, in its report submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari, said the University of Lagos Act 1962 as amended in 1967 and University’s (Miscellaneous Provision Act) 2012 provides for the position of the University Governing Council with the general control and superintendence of policy, finance and property of the university and its public relations.
Recall that the minister of education, Malam Adamu Adamu had, on 29 March 2021, transmitted the approval of the President Buhari, of the appointment of seven-man team headed by Gen. Martin Luther Agwai to review the performance of the institution and make recommendation using specific Terms of Reference (TOR) and covering the period, 2016-2020.
The panel was mandated to review the performance of the institution in the area of governance; academic standard; quality assurance; management of finances, among others.
According to the report, “The council as per the subsisting Act of the University of Lagos Act 1967 is the governing body charged with the general control and superintendence of policy, finance and property of the university and its public relations. It also has the duty inter alia to appoint all members of academic staff, the registrar, bursar and librarian on the recommendation of the Appointment and Promotion Committee.”
Similarly, in its findings, the panel lamented that only 37% of the academic staff of the university has Ph.D. degree, which fell short of NUC minimum requirement of 70%, while calling on the federal government to ease the cumbersome processes on the recruitment of staff to enable the university employ more academic staff with Ph.D. degrees.
“The internal and external quality assurance mechanisms, along with the University of Lagos policies on staff development with reference to adequacy of staff and staff development programmes in the 12 faculties, colleges and institutes were found to be remarkable,” the panel said.
In the report made available to LEADERSHIP, the committee commended the different organs that had run the university over time which earned it national and international reputation with its consequent ranking among 1000 universities globally, until the crisis that started in 2018 between the governing council and the management of the university.
However, they stressed that for steady progress and development of the university, the governing council and management should harmoniously work as a team and adhere to their respective statutory responsibilities, while commending the institution for consistently growing its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and urged the Management to sustain the tempo as well as ensure transparency and probity in the utilisation of the revenue.
The panel also expressed satisfaction over the effort of the university in reviewing its security architectures through coordination with national security agencies especially in safeguarding of the water front but urged the management of the institution to take advantage of the proposed Lagos State waterways project to extend student’s hostels and staff quarters to Ikorodu whereby within 20 minutes, Students can travel from there to Akoka.
Also, to address inadequate funding which has been a major issue, the students can be made to pay appropriate tuition fees and in return, the federal government to give scholarships, grants and loans to the students based on applications. The loan will subsequently be repaid by the beneficiary upon graduation and commencement of working life.
The panel recommended that TETfund should continue improving efforts in generating revenue through the 2% Tertiary Education Tax and judiciously execute meaningful infrastructural improvements to the benefit of the university education considering the negative effects of the economic recession and Covid-19 on the country while the federal government to properly look into the construction of the new library building.
The panel further urged the university to appoint an independent external Body to assess the effectiveness of the internal audit function at least once every three years while encouraging independence of internal audit to enable it effectively perform its role.