New Federal Universities got N300m Each to Procure Equipment,Okojie reveals

New Federal Universities got N300m Each to Procure Equipment,Okojie reveals
Chris Steven,  Abuja
Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission(NUC),Professor Julius Okojie has revealed that each of the 12 new federal universities established during the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan were given N300million to purchase equipment for their technical laboratories.

While stating federal government’s commitment to functional tertiary education in the country,he said NUC was worried about the poor utilization and maintenance of the equipment by the various institutions.

He stated this in Abuja on Wednesday at a seminar on Science and Engineering Equipment,Functionality,Procurement and Processes in Nigerian Universities,organized in conjunction with Eagle Scientific Ltd.

According to him, contemporary technological advancement has made it imperative for universities to know how to procure and manage equipments as they are directly linked to the production of high quality Achitects,Builders,Engineers,Doctors and Scientists.

He disclosed that an independent study carried out by the Commission and the World Bank to assess the impact of equipment maintenance programme in selected universities in Nigeria, revealed that only 47.65percent of laborary equipment were functional,28.69percent were non-functional while 23.66percent were completely obsolete.

“It’s on record that each of the new federal universities established recently in the country got not less than N300million to buy new equipments for the first five years. Our priority as a regulatory body will be to step up monitoring to ensure that these equipments are maintained,we have a very poor maintenance culture which we must try to address.

“The high percentage of non-functional and obsolete equipment in the Nigerian universities attests to the fact that poor attitude to maintenance was still lingering in the system.

“The ‘throw away culture’ whereby a faulty equipment is discarded and replaced with a new one without first considering the possibility of repair is wasteful and should give way to the more prudent maintenance culture,”he said.

Meanwhile,Tim Johnsen,an equipment expert said the workshop was aimed at addressing shortcomings associated with physical structures for laboratory and workshops.

Johnsen who acts as an intermediary between the equipment production firms and institutions needing lab equipment in Nigeria,said there were best practices in procurement,installation and maintenance which most of the universities were ignorant of,hence the training seminar.