The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the University of Abuja Governing Council, Modibbo Mohammed said the university has mounted a 24-hour security patrol within the campus and parameters of the university to prevent a repeat of the recent kidnapping that occurred at its staff quarter.
“We have also employed additional hunters and vigilantes to patrol in areas that are not fenced because it is a very vast land,” he said.
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Mohammed, who stated this while speaking to journalists in Abuja at a retreat organised by the University Council for Principal Officers, Deans, Directors and the University-Based Unions at the weekend, said they will do anything humanly possible to ensure that such does not repeat itself.
On the state of the staff quarters which was 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 [minister] 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 befit a university lecturer status.
‘Thinking out of the box’
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 with while carrying out their duties.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, said many factors exist that are fighting the university and that many staff get paid without carrying out their duties.
“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 are ready to move forward, we must jettison the past,” he said.
He said the university must be a class of its own, saying other universities should look up to it for excellence.
On his part, the Permanent Secretary of the 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.
Echono noted that Nigerian universities are faced with various contemporary 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 will 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 a regular interface between members of councils and principal officers and other stakeholders involved in the management of the university,” he said.