A former Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, has suggested financial autonomy for the nation’s universities.
While Nwajiuba, in an interview with journalists, stressed the need to grant public universities financial autonomy, the two experts, in separate interviews, said the government cannot absolve itself of its duty of funding education.
He said, “There is the need to have Boards of Trustees for universities. Governing Councils operate differently from Boards of Trustees.
“We already have a template which if you read the University Autonomy Act; you’ll find out that universities are essentially autonomous because even the council can act wholly by appointing Vice-Chancellors. They do not need approval from Abuja. They can hire and fire their lecturers. All that the government does is to pay.
“Another issue is earned allowances. Now, lecturers paid by the government may, in different proportions, have done extra work. For example, supervising postgraduate students and all, they come up with some percentages for the government to pay. Now, the government does not know these people, the government did not work out these percentages.
“Looking at some of these issues, you will realise that it is time to grant universities full financial autonomy so that all of these things that are contentious and repeated will stop being problems and will be treated locally. All universities do not have uniform problems.