Not less than eight out of the twelve governing councils chairmen are from the northern part of the country while the South-East geo-political zone got one.
Recall that eight of the newly appointed Vice Chancellors of the new universities were also from the northern parts of the country, which prompted protests in several quarters.
Inaugurating the councils, which have the Senate President’s sister, Gbemisola Saraki, as chairman of Federal University, Utuoke, Prof. Nimi Briggs, Federal University, Lokoja, Lawan Yahuza, Federal University, Gashua, among others.
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu restated the commitment of the present administration to enthrone a better university’s education.
While tasking the chairmen and members of the councils to dicharge their duties with passion and commitment, Adamu harped on the need to enthrone transparency in addressing the mounting challenges bedeviling the education sector.
He said, “The Federal Government is tackling the challenges and one of the ways is to increase investment in the sector.
“That is why education got the highest allocation in the 2016 budget, the highest so far.”
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwuka charged the new appointees to justify the hope in them, adding that the job is on part-time basis.
The minister said the councils must ensure that they work in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision for education.
“Let me inform you, by your appointments, you are the ears and eyes of the visitor in the universities,” Anwuka added.
The councils, which consist of 5-man each, also have the following as chairmen, Prof. Saidat Mobadaje, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Marliyya Zayyan, Federal University, Dustin-ma, Munzah Jibril, Federal University, Lafia and F.T. Bikersteth, Federal University, Gusau.
Others are Ahmed Uba Nana, Federal University, Wukari, Garba Gadi, Federal University, Kashere, Lawrence Ngbale, Federal University, Birnin-Kebbi, while Najatu Muhammed turned down her appointment as chairman of Federal University, Dutse.
Meanwhile, Nigeria is losing about $2 billion every year as capital flight on education, Chairman, Senate Committee on higher education and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Senator Binta Masi, has said.
Masi, who disclosed this during the inauguartion of the new universities councils in Abuja, said the money if injected into the nation’s education sector, would go a long way in discouraging many Nigerian students from travelling abroad.
She however expressed confidence that the present administration under President Buhari would reverse the trend before 2019.