The Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman said the key focus for the Nigerian universities would be aligning educational outcomes to national productivity, research innovation and entrepreneurship among graduates to promote self-reliance and reduce dependence on white-collar jobs.
Prof Mamman who stated this when a delegation of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities and the Acting Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Chris Maiyaki paid him a visit in Abuja recently, said his government is committed to improving the country’s educational system.
He said President Bola Amed Tinubu’s approach to governance was very business-like and that all his ministers would be subjected to quarterly performance reviews.
“The ministry under my watch will address the fundamental structural issues from primary to tertiary education and work with all stakeholders to ensure that the sector is turned around,” he said.
Speaking, the Minister of State, Yusuf Sununu highlighted the security issue in Nigerian universities and referred to the recent kidnapping of students at the Federal University Gusau.
Dr. Sununu acknowledged the seriousness of the matter and expressed the government’s commitment to address it adequately.
Earlier, Chairman of the Committee, Professor Salami, conveyed her appreciation to the Minister for allowing the delegation to officially congratulate him on his appointment as the first serving Vice-Chancellor to become a Minister of Education.
She however, pointed out some key challenges faced by universities to include funding, recruitment of staff, universities’ autonomy, aspects of university laws that conflict with other laws and unending industrial disputes with university-based unions.
Professor Salami presented the Committee’s study report on “Challenges, Opportunities and Sustainable Models for Nigerian Federal Universities” as their input to finding lasting solutions to the challenges facing public and private universities.
Meanwhile, some of the Vice Chancellors who were part of the delegation included Prof, Kabiru Adeyemo, VC, Lead City University; Dili Dogo of Nile University; Prof Ibiyemi Bello, VC, LASU, Fatima Tahir, VC Bauchi State University, Gadau, Prof, Allen Agih, VC, Niger Delta University and Prof Barnabas Qurix of Bingham University among others.