Posted by News Express | 12 August 2015 | 3,479 times
The Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Julius Okojie, has decried the inability of Plateau State University, Bokkos, to graduate students since inception in 2005.
Okojie, who expressed his displeasure when Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong visited him in Abuja on Tuesday, attributed the problems to lack of accreditation and political issues.
The NUC boss said some final year students of the institution were farmed out to the University of Jos (UniJos), in 2007 in order to graduate them.
He urged Lalong to expedite action towards getting accreditation for the programmes of the institution, recalling that the Vice-Chancellor was sacked by the former governor.
“You have to install an enduring structure that will ensure that institution survives as a university that is 10 years old.
“It is sad that a university that is 10years old has not graduated its first set of students.
“You have to recall that vice chancellor because he did only one year; inaugurate the council put in place and appoint the registrar and the bursar.
“PLASU was founded in 2005, it is 10 years today; other universities of that age have gone places.
The more disturbing aspect of it is that in 2007, the final year students were moved to UniJos to graduate there.
“The school has to meet the basic criteria before its courses are accredited, the academic staff and necessary structures must be in place.”
Okojie said PLASU had about 1,819 students, 69 academic staff, about 70 non- teaching members of staff and just 17 programmes which were grossly inadequate for a university.
According to him, there are defective governance structures; no governing council, no chancellor and no accredited programmes in the institution.
“How can the university survive? I am happy you came at this time; it shows your seriousness.
“As we talk now, there is no governing council; no programme is accredited and students are in final year.
“We wanted to find out the remote and immediate causes of the problems of PLASU and so we sent a committee there and the State Government was very hostile to that committee.
“We gave a directive after the fact finding visit and number one was to dismiss the council which was interfering with the day to day running of the university, including the award of contracts.
“The only authentic vice chancellor you have now is Prof. Doknan Sheni; you have to re-instate that VC to complete his tenure.
“Put a council in place within three weeks and after that we begin to address all the issues.”
He assured the governor that students will graduate once the structures are on ground, “and we will come for accreditation.”
In his remarks, Lalong urged the NUC to grant PLASU a moratorium of five months to put in place facilities needed for accreditation.
He urged the commission to consider two sets of final year students for graduation in agreement with UniJos.
According to Lalong, NUC can also assist PLASU by encouraging lecturers who are on sabbatical leave to spend it at Bokkos.
“We request NUC to give special consideration to PLASU in attracting lecturers from the Diaspora.
“Given the international and institutional linkages that NUC has established over the years, we will be appreciative if the NUC could include PLASU as a beneficiary, where the opportunity avails.
“We are also open to favourable conditions in other aspects of technical support; development partners; linkages with Nigerian Research and Education Network (NgREN).”
The governor said PLASU was open to partnership with other higher education institutions and experts around the world and ready for entrepreneurship assistance.
He pledged to inaugurate the governing council of the institution and work towards re-instating the sacked VC. (NAN)
•Photo shows Gov. Lalong
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