SPEECH DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, UMARU TANKO AL-MAKURA, GOVERNOR OF NASARAWA STATE, ON THE OCCASION OF THE SWEARING-IN OF SPECIAL ADVISER, OVERSEERS OF DEVELOPMENT AREAS AND INAUGURATION OF THE CHAIRMEN AND MEMBERS OF GOVERNING COUNCILS OF THE STATE-OWNED TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS, LAFIA: TUESDAY, 11TH SEPTEMBER, 2018

1. His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State;

2. The Right Hon. Speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly;

3. The Hon. Chief Judge of Nasarawa State;

4. Principal Officers and Members of the State House of Assembly;

5. Members of the State Executive Council;

6. The Secretary to the Government of Nasarawa State;

7. The Head of the Civil Service;

8. The National Vice Chairman, North-Central Zone of the APC;

9. The State Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC);

10. Permanent Secretaries;

11. His Royal Highness, Alhaji (Dr.) Isa Mustapha Agwai I, CFR, Emir of Lafia and Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs;

12. Chairmen and Chief Executives of Commissions, Boards and Parastatals;

13. Executive Chairmen of Local Government Councils;

14. Your Royal Highnesses, Emirs and Chiefs;

15. Prominent Sons and Daughters of Nasarawa State;

16. My Distinguished Appointees;

17. Gentlemen of the Press;

18. Ladies and Gentlemen

It is with a sense of responsibility that I address you today on the occasion of the swearing-in of:
1. Special Adviser;
2. Overseers of Development Areas; and
3. Inauguration of Chairmen, as well as Members of the Governing Councils of the following State-owned tertiary institutions:
i. Nasarawa State University, Keffi;
ii. Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia;
iii. College of Education, Akwanga; and
iv. College of Agriculture, Lafia.

2. Consequent upon vacancies created as a result of the recent reorganization of Government machinery, it has become necessary to appoint additional Special Adviser in our commitment towards the sustenance of the development strides of this Administration.

3. You would also recall that, in our determination to reposition our esteemed tertiary institutions, I had the privilege, in October last year, to inaugurate Investigative and Fact-finding Committees to look into the activities of Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia, College of Education, Akwanga and College of Agriculture, Lafia. This course of action was embarked upon considering the precarious conditions and flagrant abuse of processes and standards these institutions were subjected to, resulting in mismanagement of resources, decayed infrastructure and unfortunate fall in the academic programmes and ratings of the institutions.

4. The situation was so unwholesome that it not only affected the administration of the institutions but, indeed, the academic activities of these citadels of learning. Government viewed this maladministration as an affront to our commitment to revolutionize the education sector with the main objective of providing quality education that will ensure the propriety of our graduates as a necessary tool for fast-tracking optimal productivity and, by extension, industrial take off of our dear State.

5. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, Government was concerned by the outcome of the reports of the Fact-finding Committees to these institutions which showed very dismal performances and falling standards of academic activities, series of ethical violation and, in some cases, wanton abuse of office by the chief executive officers of some of the institutions.

6. More worrisome is the admission of students into courses and programmes without accreditation and the resultant graduation of the students with certificates that are hardly recognized by employers. It is rather appalling to note that the resources which accrued to the institutions were recklessly mismanaged instead of channeling same to achieve the desired accreditation. This was further compounded by the lackadaisical and, more often than not, the complicity of the dissolved Governing Councils which is supposed to exercise due diligence in their supervisory responsibilities. This liturgy contributed to these abuses and abysmal academic performances.

7. It is heartwarming to note, therefore, that today we are gathered here to inaugurate the newly reconstituted Governing Councils that will oversee the affairs of these State-owned tertiary institutions. In doing so, let me reiterate that, as a guiding principle of this Administration, members of these Councils were carefully selected, taking into cognizance their professionalism, wealth of experience, records of service and personal reputation.

8. Particularly, I need to state that the appointment of Professor Emeritus, Adamu Baikie as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Nasarawa State University’s Governing Council was done as a deliberate endeavour aimed at redirecting the course of academic pursuit and re-institutionalizing academic culture and excellence in this enviable citadel of learning.

9. As you may recall, Professor Adamu Baikie has been a consummate academic and, indeed, astute university administrator per excellence who had held positions of Vice Chancellor in reputed universities across Nigeria and South Africa. The Nasarawa State University was his brain child which he propelled to limelight when he was the Sole Administrator of the institution and later, the Vice Chancellor. I need to state that the current reality of the Nasarawa State University requires the personality of Professor Adamu Baikie to reposition it. Sir, it is our honour to once again tap from your fountain of knowledge, experience, resourcefulness and standard to the benefit of the society.

10. I, therefore, call on the Governing Council of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi to overhaul the entire organogram of the institution to make it more compact, professional and academically sound, befitting of this great citadel of excellence. The Council is mandated to review all improper appointments and promotions of both academic and non-academic staff. Where necessary, you are expected to conduct proper placement of staff, review the procedures followed in creating new departments, consultancy programmes and determine their suitability in line with the requisite guidelines of the National Universities Commission (NUC). You are also to examine the compliance or otherwise of admission policy with regards to quota system.

11. In the same vein, I hereby direct the Governing Boards of the Nasarawa State Polytechnic, College of Education, Akwanga and College of Agriculture, Lafia to vigorously implement the White Papers on the reports of the Fact-finding Committees to the letter. You have the herculean task of ensuring effective supervision of the administrative activities to ensure academic excellence, in line with the guidelines of the supervisory bodies. Without interfering in the day-to-day running of the institutions, you have a duty to also ensure that programmes run by these institutions are fully accredited and in line with relevant guidelines and regulations.

12. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the swearing-in of the Overseers of Development Areas is intended to reinvigorate the Local Government administration. This is hinged on our conviction that this tier of Government, being the closest to the people at the grassroots, deserves utmost attention. It is for this reason that Government deemed it necessary to rekindle the administrative system in the Development Areas. This is to compliment the activities of the elected Chairmen of the Local Government Councils in the State.

13. Accordingly, I call on the newly appointed Overseers of the Development Areas to synergize with their respective Executive Chairmen to bring about good governance in the Development Areas. I must, however, point out that you are not co-chairmen of the Local Governments but expected to oversee the affairs of the Development Areas in liaison with the elected Chairmen. This, by implication, means that you are answerable to the elected Chairmen. You are, therefore, to also serve as members of the Finance and General Purpose Committees, as well as sub-security officers of your various Development Areas. You are, thus, responsible for ensuring peace and good governance in your respective Development Areas.

14. My dear appointees, while congratulating you on these worthy appointments, I implore you to justify the confidence reposed in you. I call on you to bring your wealth of experience to bear on your respective responsibilities. I have no doubt that, given your pedigrees, you will initiate policies and programmes that will further enhance the delivery of service to the good people of Nasarawa State.

15. On this note, it is my pleasure to inaugurate the members of the Governing Councils of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi; Nasarawa State Polytechnic, Lafia; College of Education, Akwanga; and College of Agriculture, Lafia.

16. I wish you successful tenures.

17. Thank you and God bless.