Yuguda is NOUN’s Pro-Chancellor as FG inaugurates varsities’ Governing Councils

By Debbie Nduba
Minister of Education, Mamman, delivering his speech


The Honourable Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, SAN, CON, has inaugurated the Governing Councils of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) alongside other newly-appointed Chairmen and members of Governing Councils of the Federal Universities, Polytechnics, and Colleges of Education in the country.

The event, which took place on Thursday, July 4, 2024 at the National Universities Commission (NUC) auditorium in Abuja, pencilled H.E. Isa Yuguda as Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of NOUN, comprising of Dr. Goddy Etta, Hon. Yomi Balogun, Barr. Mrs. Deborah Appah and Hon. Hingah Biem, as members.

It could be recalled that the institutions have operated without councils since President Bola Tinubu’s sweeping dissolution last in June, 2023, leaving the running of the institutions to the Vice-Chancellors.


H.E. Isa Yuguda  Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council  NOUN

The minister, while inaugurating the councils, expressed confidence that with the ceremony, “the nation's tertiary institutions will achieve a remarkable transformation for the benefit of our children, and generations to come.”

According to him, the ceremony marked an important milestone in the quest to improve education sector and re-engineer the governance structure of Nigerian tertiary institutions.

Mamman, therefore, urged the new councils to get abreast of the current Acts of their respective institutions, Government Policies, White Papers (if any); Circulars, Gazettes and other relevant document relating to the Institutions and those of general application in the MDAs.

"I, therefore, charge you to explore diverse funding sources, including partnerships with the private sector and international organisations, alumni, endowment and sponsored research to ensure financial sustainability of your institutions. It is however imperative that the limited funds allocated by government are judiciously utilised.

"As Governing Councils, one of your responsibilities is to ensure good management, healthy growth and development of your institutions. One of the challenges that Governing Councils regularly face during their tenure is the appointment of Principal Officers.

“You must ensure that proper attention and priority are given to the relevant Acts of the institutions and Government Guidelines for the process of such appointments as well as ensure fairness and transparency. Governing Councils must, at all times, adhere to the ideals of transparency and probity," the minister said.

He called on them to encourage responsible unionism in their respective institutions while arresting the problems of cultism and drug abuse by students, noting that effective strategies should be put in place by the councils for early detection and eradication of social vices such as sexual harassment, theft, extortion and inducement.


Cross-Section of VC's and other guests

"Let me clarify that there is a clear line of operations between the management and respective Governing Councils of the tertiary institutions. Councils are not to interference with the day-to-day management of human, financial, and material resources of the institutions," he said.

In his welcome address, the Minister of State for Education, Dr. Yusuf Tanko Sununu, expressed confidence in what he described as “a crop of eminent, quintessential, well-respected Nigerians in the councils, who have contributed immensely to the growth and development of Nigeria in their various fields of endeavour.

"I use this opportunity to congratulate you for these well-deserved appointments as Chairmen and Members of the Governing Councils of our tertiary institutions.

"Worthy of mention at this point is the fact that Nigerians have been yearning for quality functional education, fit for purpose and for sustainable development and also education that will equip our citizens and make them competent to deal with global emerging issues.”

Chairman, Governing Council, University of Lagos, Chief Wole Olanipekun,who spoke on behalf of the newly-inaugurated chairmen, said the relationship between the management of universities and councils should not be that of cat and rat.

He urged them to be cautious in their dealings with members of the universities while encouraging the Vice-Chancellors to give them the opportunity to improve the institutions. “We are to build and not to pull down,” he added.