Taraba State University Falls Short of NUC Standards, Visitation Panel Reports

Taraba State University Falls Short of NUC Standards, Visitation Panel Reports

By Amforgod J. Olisa

In a recent revelation, the visitation panel for Taraba State University, Jalingo, has brought to light significant discrepancies in the university’s operations compared to the benchmarks set by the National Universities Commission (NUC). The panel, headed by Prof. Josiah Kente, has underscored the urgent need for restructuring the university’s governance framework to align with NUC standards.

Prof. Kente, addressing journalists after presenting the panel’s report to Governor Agbu Kefas in Jalingo, disclosed the findings that have prompted the recommendation for institutional overhaul. The focus was primarily on assessing the leadership quality within the university, including its governing council, Vice-Chancellor, and other key officers.

The panel’s assessment unveiled glaring inadequacies in the composition and appointment processes of the university’s governing council, which, according to Prof. Kente, have exerted adverse effects on the institution’s policies and trajectory.

“The governing council’s inappropriate composition and appointment procedures have significantly hampered the university’s policies and direction,” Prof. Kente remarked. He emphasized the imperative for the chairman of the governing council to possess substantial experience in university administration, capable of offering judicious counsel to the institution.

Furthermore, the panel highlighted discrepancies in the university’s staffing system, deviating from the NUC guidelines. While the NUC prescribes a 70/30 ratio for academic and non-academic staff respectively, Taraba State University currently maintains a ratio of 70 percent non-academic to 30 percent academic staff. This imbalance, with 749 academic staff and 1,819 non-academic staff, requires rectification to adhere to NUC standards.

The panel’s scrutiny extended to the financial management practices within the university, revealing alarming deficiencies in record-keeping and transparency. Prof. Kente lamented the absence of proper financial records, particularly spanning the periods from 2012 to 2016 and 2010 to 2023. The lack of accountability culminated in the recommendation for a thorough investigation into financial management, urging the return of funds misused in blatant violation of institutional financial protocols.

Moreover, the panel decried irregularities in the university’s recruitment procedures, emphasizing the need for transparency and adherence to due process. Prof. Kente highlighted the failure to seek council approval for positions and the absence of proper advertising for recruitment exercises, which cast doubts on the integrity of the process.

In light of these findings, the panel implored the Taraba State government, led by Governor Agbu Kefas, to take decisive action in implementing the report’s recommendations. The ultimate goal is to bring Taraba State University in alignment with NUC standards, ensuring its status as a bona fide institution of higher learning.

As stakeholders await the government’s response, the spotlight remains on the imperative for comprehensive reforms to elevate Taraba State University to the pinnacle of academic excellence and institutional integrity.

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