Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i.
All projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in the federal and state government-owned universities in the Niger Delta states have been completely abandoned.
Investigation revealed that 84.6 per cent of these projects are students’ hostels.
This was contained in the report of the Committee on NEEDS Assessment of Public Universities in the country which was presented to the National Economic Council early this month by the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i.
Some of the projects were listed as a 500-room hostel at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri abandoned at 35 per cent completion, a 500-bed NDDC Hostel A and another 500-bed NDDC Hostel B, both at the Niger Delta University with 10 per cent completion.
Others are a 500-bed hostel at Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Ondo State, a 300-room hostel at Abia State University, Uturu abandoned at 20 per cent completion, and a Medical College Complex in the University of Benin.
Other abandoned projects of the NDDC are students’ hostels in the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun, University of Benin, University of Port Harcourt, Ambrose Ali University and Imo State University.
A laboratory was also abandoned in Imo State University.
The 11-member committee, headed by the former Executive Secretary of Tertiary Trust Fund (TETFUND), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, also noted that only about 43 per cent of teaching staff in public universities have doctorate degrees which contravene the requirement of a possession of a PhD to lecture in any university.
In a copy of the report which was obtained by THISDAY, it was observed that only 44 per cent of the lecturers in public universities are within the ranks of Senior Lecturers and Professors instead of the required 75 per cent.
“Only seven universities have up to 60 per cent of their teaching staff with PhD qualifications (i.e. IMSU, Unical, Ondo State University of Science and Tech Okitipupa, NOUN, Uniport, Unilorin and Uniuyo),” the report disclosed.
The committee lamented that while majority of the universities are grossly understaffed, some present a very pathetic picture like the Kano University of Science and Technology which although was established 11 years ago, has only one Professor and 25 PhD holders.
“Kebbi State University of Science and Technology, Aliero, established in 2006 has only two Professors and five PhDs. Ondo State University of Science and Technology Okitipupa, established in 2008, has a total of 29 lecturers,” it said.
It added that there is a rising culture of universities engaging visiting lecturers as only 75 per cent of the 37,504 lecturers in public universities are engaged full time.
“At the Gombe State University, only four out of 47 Professors are full-time and all 25 Readers are visiting.
In the Plateau State University, Bokkos, 74 per cent of the lecturers are visiting. In Kaduna State University, only 24 out of 174 PhD holders are full-time staff,” the committee noted.
“There are numerically more support staff in the services of the universities than the teaching staff they are meant to support – a scenario in which the tail is wagging the dog. More expenditure is incurred in administration and routine functions than in core academic matters,” the report said.
It observed that there were 1,252,913 students studying in Nigerian public universities with 43 per cent of them, females.