The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of University of Abuja Governing Council, Modibbo Mohammed has disclosed that the university has mounted 24 hours security patrol not only within the campus but within the perimeters of the tertiary institution.
The initiative, according to him, was to prevent a repeat of the recent kidnapping that occurred at its staff quarter.
Mohammed who stated this while speaking to journalists in Abuja, one the sidelines of a retreat organised by the University Council for Principal Officers, Deans, Directors and its unions at the weekend, said they would do anything possible to ensure that such incident doesn’t repeat itself.
“We have also employed additional hunters, vigilantes to patrol in areas that are not fenced because it is a very vast land,” he said.
On the staff quarters which was then reported to be in a deplorable state, he said: “Our staff housing is below standard. I am ashamed of the sort of accommodation our staff are living in.
“The council has met the Minister of FCT and he has assured us to do something soon. And a delegation will soon go to FERMA to come in and give the university special consideration especially the roads within the mini campus and the residential areas,” he said.
“We will definitely partner with government agencies, we will attract funding and invite investors and discuss with government to build befitting houses that befits a university lecturer status,” he added.
Speaking on the theme of the retreat, “Navigating Myriad of Challenges in Managing Universities in Today’s World,” he said they all have a role in repositioning the university by thinking out of the box to surmount the never ending challenges they struggle to carry out their duties.
The pro-chancellor identified problem of funding and staff attitude to work among reasons for organising the retreat, adding that the session, hopefully would chat a new course for the varsity.
Earlier the Vice Chancellor Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah said many factors were fighting against the university, adding that many staff do not do their duties but collect salary.
He added: “They do not come to work on time, some do not teach while others spend just an hour and leave.
“If we must attain the greatness and if we are ready to serve Nigeria truthfully speaking we must put all these things aside, and stop rumours and allegations. If we ready to move forward we must jettison the past.”
He said the university must be a class of its own and does not need to drag or copy others as it is destiny for other universities to look up to it for excellence and copy them in the concentration of funding, admission, structures and competitiveness , etc.
On his part the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono said the retreat was put together to explain the separation of powers and roles to avoid conflicts in the university.
He said retreat has proven to be useful and improved governing of universities.
Echono noted that Nigerian universities were faced with challenges of sustainable funding, autonomy, industrial harmony, institutional ranking, compliance with status regulations and enhanced governance and administration.
He opined that to address and mitigate these challenges, the universities would need to remain proactive and continue to come up with appropriate responses particularly in this knowledge driven era.
“A veritable tool in this regard is regular interface between members of councils and principal officers and other stakeholders involved in management of university,” he said.
On issue of university sustainable funding, he added: “I am of the very strong view that as long as we depend on government budgeting to run university systems, given inadequate priority given to the education sector coupled with other external factors and dwindling resources, expectation from the budgets will continue to remain a challenge.”
He said funding should be determined based on cost in a particular course of study and what it takes to produce a student over the course of duration of that programme and every stakeholder should partake in it.
Kuni Tyessi in Abuja