Thursday March 2017
The National Institute for Legislative Studies has challenged Stakeholders in the Tertiary Education sub-sector to raise the standards of Federal Universities to serve as model-oriented centers for other universities in Nigeria to emulate. The Director General, National Institute for Legislative Studies, Dr. Ladi Hamalai gave this charge during a Round Table on the Reform of extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. She also raised concerns of the leadership of the National Assembly on the standards with regards to teaching, teaching facilities, research and libraries across Nation’s universities.
The Director General, NILS Dr. Ladi Hamalai, while speaking as Chairperson of the Law Reform Committee during the Workshop on the review of Federal Universities Laws for Sustainable Development noted that the National Institute for Legislative Studies is responsible for coordinating the review of over 300 existing laws of the Federation.
Speaking further, the DG urged the University managers and stakeholders to provide relationship between recommendations that would be made at the workshop with the review of the Federal Universities laws, while challenging them to develop special identity for the Federal Universities and come up with reform initiatives that would recreate these universities into modern oriented centres.
She argued that there can be no better time than now to embark on amendment of relevant laws that would assist the Vice Chancellors in maintaining sanity in the Nigerian University system
While providing guidelines for deliberation, the DG called on participants to consider issues that negatively affect quality and standard of education in Nigerian Universities. She decried the growing phenomenon of having low requisite ratio of senior academic staff in the tertiary institutions.
Earlier in his key note address, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian University Commission, Represented by the Director, Information, Ibrahim Yakassai identified 25 Federal Universities established by the Federal Executive Council without enabling statute.
He advocated the inclusion of NUC representation in the composition of the Governing councils, issues of funding and autonomy and appointment of Vice Chancellors as key areas to be considered for review.
In a paper titled “Key Issues in the Review of Federal Universities Laws in Nigeria”, Prof. Joash Amupitan, SAN, called for the strengthening of legal and institutional framework for Federal Universities while urging stakeholders to advocate uniformity of laws for all Federal Universities. He identified ten specific areas which include, single or separate legislation, composition and powers of council, composition and powers of Senate, appointment of Vice Chancellors and other principal officers of the University. Power to make statue and service of Court’s processes on the Universities among others.
He suggested the need for synergy on identifying the challenges confronting the Nigerian University system.
Position papers were presented by several interest groups on how to deal with fundamental challenges.
The Roundtable Workshop was attended by members of Academic Staff of Universities ASSU,, Committee of Vice-Chancellors, NAAT, the National University Commission NUC and other stakeholders in the university community.