GOVT RETAINS PRINCIPAL OFFICERS, AS YABA TECH BECOMES VARSITY
THE Ministerial Implementation Committees set up by the Minister of Education on the modalities for take off of Yaba College of Technology and Kaduna Polytechnic as universities have submitted their reports with a recommendation of the principal officers as heads in acting capacity during the transition period.
Presenting the Yabatech Ministerial Implementation committee's report, Prof. Akinola Muritala Salau, said that the committee made exhaustive reference to pertinent documents including the National Universities Commission's (NUC) guidelines and memoranda from the staff.
The committee also interacted with members of the community and conducted inspection tours of the two campuses of the college before arriving at its recommendations.
He said that the committee recommended that the university be called Yaba Technical University based on the fact that the university would be a unique institution of dual mode, training middle level manpower that would be awarded national diploma as reflected in the 'technical' component of the name, and awarding degrees in line with university mandate.
The committee's chairman briefed the minister that in phasing out the Higher National Diploma (HND) programmes of the college, the admission of students to full and part time HND programmes should cease from 2011/2012 academic session.
The ND programmes, he said, would be retained to serve as feeder for the B.Tech programmes for the new university.
Salau said that the committee went through the college's 38 programmes and other manpower and physical structures and established that the college met the minimum NUC requirements to be called a university.
He added that the committee observed that there was peace on the campus and commended the college administration for its efficiency and effectiveness. He stated that the committee was availed all required information in the shortest possible time and that information given by management was found to tally with information gathered from their personal interactions with members of the college community.
The committee proposed that the new university should run a five year B.Tech programme with students having practical of one year and later come back in the final year to complete their course in line with the NUC standard of 60 per cent practical and 40 per cent theory for B.Tech programmes.
The practical, he said, would avail the students the avenue to acquire the technical know-how and for them to perform efficiently as job creators.
On financing, Salau said, 'we used the NUC data formula for financing and we arrived at the figure of over N8 billion for yearly subvention and we recommended that N2 billion be given for training under the transition and we also suggested that 20 per cent as recurrent capital be recommended if the programme is starting next year.
He stated further that during the transitional period, the government should allow the management running the institution to continue to run it in acting capacity.
In addition, the committee recommended that the governing council should also stay but be expanded to meet statutory composition of a university council.
Salau said that the committee recommended five years transition period for the college during which the HND programmes would have been phased out, many academic staff on their masters and PhD degree studies would have completed their studies and returned to the new university to enrich the academic staff and the university would have been at the 400 level by then and on a firm
The chairman, then, appealed to the Minister of Education to approve the take off of Yaba College of Technology as Yaba Technical University having satisfied the minimum requirements and standards provided by the NUC guidelines for the commencement of a university.
The chairman of the Kaduna Polytechnic's Ministerial Implementation Committee thereafter presented his committee's report which was more or less in the same vein as that of Yaba College of Technology, the main difference being in his committee's proposed name of City University of Technology, Kaduna.
In her response, the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa'I expressed the ministry's appreciation to the committees for their commitment to the assignment and the reports as presented by the chairmen of the two committees.
She expressed her satisfaction over the similarities of the recommendations in the areas of take off date, governance, academic structure and finance; giving assurances that the main area of difference which is the name of the new universities would be looked into.
The minister promised to present the report to President Goodluck Jonathan for final approval before the take off of the new universities will be announced.
Speaking earlier, the acting permanent secretary of the ministry, Dr. Sabo Abdulahi Albasu, recalled the inauguration of the committees by the Minister of Education on November 3, 2010 with a given maximum period of four weeks to complete their assignment and present their reports.
He noted the importance of the new universities in providing improved access to quality education for the technological growth of the country.