Vice Chancellor bemoans fall in capital votes of varsities

Abubakar-tafawa-belawa-universityThe Vice Chancellor of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, Professor Saminu Abdulrahman Ibrahim has decried the dwindling capital votes of the universities and urged federal government to look into it.

Ibrahim, who noted that the capital vote of ATBU last year was N280m claimed the institution got only N100m. He expressed regret that the budget fell to N53m this year.

Speaking in Ado Ekiti at the weekend where he led a team to present letter of appointment to the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Oba Rufus Adeyemo Adejugbe as the new Chancellor and chairman of Council of the university, Ibrahim lamented that many federal universities could not develop their infrastructure as fast they would have wished.

He, however, acknowledged the role of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), which he said has been doing well in helping to fund some of the projects of the institutions.

The Vice Chancellor, who told journalists that he was excited at the announcement of Oba Adjugbe,  as their new Chancellor, explained that what he had learnt of the 13-year service the monarch rendered at neighbouring University of Jos, gave him hope of a fruitful tenure.

He said: “ Oba Adejugbe is somebody who has been recognised as one with a lot of experience. In fact he was with a university in our neighbourhood, that is the University of Jos for the last 13 years and he contributed a lot to that university.

“In fact, when it was announced that he was the one who is going to be our new Chancellor, we were quite excited about it because we have been exchanging communication with University of Jos and we know how he had been treating them.

“Like he said himself, he doesn’t interfere unnecessarily like others do and that makes us to be quite optimistic that we are going to have a very successful tenure.”

Highlighting the immediate challenges the new Chancellor might be required to intervene in, Professor Ibrahim stated that funding was the top priority “like most other universities,” and noted that without TETFund it would have been difficult to develop infrastructure of the school.

He said, “Just like other universities, there are infrastructural challenges and the funding is also not so adequate. Of course there are interventions from TETFUND but ordinarily, the funding from government is a little problematic.”

According to him, “last year the capital grant for the whole of our university was N280million and the worst thing is that we were not even able to access all of it, we were only able to access about N100million, even then in bits, not as a whole.

This year now, the whole capital budget is just N53million.” He observed that, “without TETFund, it would probably have been very difficult for us to run the university.

So, we are actually very grateful to TETFund and indeed the Federal Government for the support they have been giving recently in order to alleviate the problems that we have been having in the university.”

Oba Adejugbe, in his response assured the university that he would join efforts with the management of the institution to make it better, saying “we will work to make the university better and make it improve humanity.”

The Ewi of Ado Ekiti told the Vice Chancellor that “our role is ceremonial but that notwithstanding, we will join efforts with yours to uplift the university without interfering with your duties.”

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