By Emmanuel Afonne
Abuja, April 27, 2021 The Presidential Visitation Panel, on Tuesday, arrived at National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), with the mandate to probe the financial management of the institution.
Chairman of the panel, Alhaji Isa Sali, while addressing the Governing Council, NOUN management and the media, said that his team would also investigate application of funds, particularly the special grants and loans meant for particular projects.
Sali, who rolled out a 10-point terms of reference of his panel, noted that their assignment would last 60 days, even as he urged staff members, students and stakeholders to submit their petitions within the period.
He explained that they would open communication with the 75 study centres of the institution spread across the country to be able to examine the adequacy of staffers and staff development programmes.
Part of our terms of reference is to determine the status of projects and their relevance for further funding and to determine the relationship between the university and the various statutory bodies it interacts, with according to its law.
“This is for the purpose of supervising finance, discipline, guidance and any other relationship (Governing Council, NUC and the Federal Ministry of Education).
We will also examine the law establishing the university, including the relationship among the various internal organs, units and offices, and indicate the ways the law has been observed by the authorities and suggest modifications, if any.
“We are also to trace the historical evolution of the university and how it has dealt with it, and then, we will recommend appropriate measures.
“The general security in the university will also be examined as well as the processes and structures of discipline of students in each university, in line with due process,” Sali said.
According to him, the panel’s assignment is a good starting point and avenue to meet with the governing council to seek its support and blessing.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of NOUN, Prof. Olufemi Peters, assured the panel of necessary support, noting that the institution was unique.
“We have the largest number of students in Africa, with enrollment of over 600,000, while that of South Africa enrolls about 400,000.
“We don’t beat our chest of quantity but also of quality. We are here to improve quality at all times,” Peters said.
Naija247news reports that Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, had, earlier this month, inaugurated visitation panels to various institutions of higher learning, to ascertain the level of development as well as their respective areas of need.