Jigawa Governor rejects University autonomy - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Thursday, July 6, 2023

Jigawa Governor rejects University autonomy

Jigawa State governor, Umar Namadi, has kicked against granting autonomy to the nation's universities, saying doing so may deny many people university education.

He particularly reasoned that granting autonomy to universities could lead to high cost of acquiring university education, thus preventing some persons from gaining knowledge in universities.

Speaking when he paid 'solidarity courtesy call' on the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, Arc. Sonny Echono, the Jigawa State governor canvassed for continuous government's financial interventions in the nation's universities.

Noting that universities were semi-autonomous, Governor Namadi said granting total autonomy to universities would not be right at the moment.

The governor,who explained that he was at TETFund not only to thank the fund for all its interventions in various tertiary institutions in his state but also seek for more support, insisted that current interventions from government must continue.

Responding to question on his take on autonomy for universities as being canvassed in some quarters,he said:"Well,I think autonomy is good in every sense but the universities are semi-autonomous. If you know what is happening to the universities, you will know that they are semi-autonomous. 

"The law has been passed giving them the power to choose their vice chancellors, meaning that they are simi-autonomous. Autonomy is good but the question is which kind of autonomy? Are you looking for administrative autonomy? Are you looking for financial autonomy? They are two different things.

" So, if you are looking for total autonomy,well I think it may not be right enough at this moment, because by the time you say all universities should be autonomous, I'm sure you cannot be able to afford even school fees for your children. So,I think this is not the right time. The interventions that is coming from state governments and from the federal government to universities,I think we need to continue with these."

He recalled that, "Recently,the universities took a step further by increasing a little bit of their school fees and the cry over that is all over the country that the school fees are high."

" Now,what more if we say okay,be autonomous and finance yourself? How do they finance themselves, it's from the school fees. So,I think it's not the right time at this time,"he added.

He explained thatt his mission to TETFund was to "thank TETFund for all the interventions that they have given to us in terms of infrastructure and  human capital developments."

"The fund has given us sufficient intervention in the state. More than 60 percent of our infrastructural development in our higher institutions come from TETFund. 

"If you take the total intervention in higher institutions in our state, especially the polytechnics and the universities,I can tell you without fear of contradiction that 60 percent of the infrastructural development comes from TETFund."

Responding,the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono, congratulated the governor on his victory at the 2023 poll and his subsequent inauguration as governor of Jigawa State.

While thanking the governor for finding time to come and appreciate the Fund for its interventions in his state, Echono assured that  Jigawa State would continue to get its fair share from TETFund's resources.

Recalling that most tertiary institutions in the state were badly affected by previous flood and insecurity,he promised that TETFund would intervend in flood and security infrastructure.

Echono recalled that last year, TETFund released N3 billion special intervention to the Federal University of Science and Technology in the state.

He said: "Jigawa is one of our frontiers when we talk about emerging technologies.It is a state of peace, with very harmonious, very hospitable people.

"I recall when the federal government in recognition of this,decided to establish the federal university of science and technology. I had a privilege of leading a team there. I want to assure you that TETFund will continue to support your efforts at developing the educational system in Jigawa.

"We will ensure that Jigawa gets its fair share of the resources in TETFund.

"We are also going to address the aftermath of flood that happened last year or two years ago where some of the infrastructure were affected. We're going to be looking at that and also the issue of security infrastructure. It's another area we are looking at to support Jigawa State, in addition to your normal entitlement as provided in the law."

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