By NBF News

Abuja - President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the appointments of vice chancellors and registrars for the newly established federal universities.

The universities are in Kogi, Taraba, Ebonyi, Jigawa, Bayelsa, Gombe, Ekiti, Nasarawa and Katsina states.

Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa'I, the Minister of Education, said at a news conference in Abuja on Wednesday that the government had 'approached the matter systematically by establishing nine universities.

She said there were at present 12 states without federal universities but promised that 'the remaining three (states) will have federal universities in due course.'

The minister named the Vice-chancellor of Federal University, Lokoja, as Prof. Abdulmumini Rafindadi, and Mrs Habiba Adeiza, as the registrar.

Prof. Ekanem Braide is the Vice-Chancellor of Federal University, Lafia, and Dr Idris Jibrin will serve as Registrar

Prof. Mohammed Farouk is the Vice-chancellor of Federal University Kashere, Gombe State, and Dr Abubakar Bafeto will be Registrar.

Federal University Wukari, Taraba, has Prof. Geoffrey Okogbaa as Vice-Chancellor and Mr John Ansho is Registrar; Prof. James Ayatse is Vice-Chancellor for Federal University, Dutsin-Ma, Katsina, while Mr Abubakar Yusuf is the Registrar.

Others are Prof. Jibrila Amin for the Federal University, Dutse, and Alhaji Yusuf Adamu will be the Registrar.

Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe is the Vice-Chancellor of Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi, and Mr G.O. Chukwu is Registrar.

Prof. Chinedu Nebo is vice-chancellor for the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti and Dr. Modupe Ajayi; the Registrar, while Prof. Bolaji Aluko is the vice-chancellor for the Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa, and Mr David Suwari will be Registrar.

Rufa'I said that to avoid 'the localisation of the new universities and to ensure that they took off as national and international centres of knowledge, care had been taken to ensure that the pioneer vice-chancellors were carefully chosen.

'This ranges from the former vice-chancellors, deputy vice-chancellors, provosts of Colleges of Medicine as well as distinguished Nigerian professors in the Diaspora and no vice cchancellor shall serve in a University within his or her geo-political zone.'

She said that the appointments would take immediate effect, and that the Jiont Addimission and Matriculations Board (JAMB), had been directed to facilitate students' intake in the institutions in September.

She also used the medium to reiterate the Federal Government's commitment to access equity and quality education at all levels in Nigeria.

'The decision to establish the new universities was informed by the imperative of creating more access to university education in view of the large number of qualified candidates who are annually stranded.

'In addition, there is the principle of equity in the distribution of Federal Universities to cover states of the federation where such institutions do not exist,' she said.

Rufa'I said that for the effective take-off of the universities, the Federal Ministry of Education had visited the states.

She said that the Federal Executive Council, with the support of the state governments, the permanent and take-off sites had been identified and approved.

'This was subsequently followed by the Council's approval of N1.5 billion for each university to be sourced from the Education Trust Fund (ETF),' she said. (NAN)