The Vice-Chancellor of David Umahi Federal University of Health Sciences, Uburu, Ebonyi State, Prof. Jesse Uneke, has blamed the failure of most government-owned universities in the country on bad leadership.
According to Uneke, state-owned universities should perform better than private institutions because of government interventions and other things accruable to them, reiterating, “Most of the problems in the nation’s universities are caused by bad leadership”.
He stated this during a press briefing at the university’s conference hall, in Uburu, Thursday.
he said, “A lot of universities have issues and problems, and most times, people blame it on the Federal Government. That ought not to be. Most of the problems in the nation’s universities are caused by bad leadership. This is very critical.
“If you go to any university and you find that things are not moving well, check the leadership. If the government is giving you salaries, giving you capital projects and giving you recurrent; for goodness sake, all you just need is to have a good leadership and management, the university wouldn’t have problems.
“That’s the challenge we are having. But I don’t want to go into that. However, I want you to understand that the failure of some the universities we have in Nigeria is not because the government is not doing its best; it has been as a result of bad leadership.
“This is because if you go to some of the private universities in the country that are going excellently well, it is not as if they are getting more money than the federal universities; it’s not as if they are benefiting from Tertiary Education Trust Fund. But how come it looks like things are more organised there than the federal universities? It’s not even as if all of them are collecting huge fees from students. There are so many private universities that are very, very affordable, but it looks as if things are more organised there. It’s a leadership issue. But, we have been able to take care of some of these things here and we do not expect ours to be like that.”
He stressed that with the takeover of the institution by the Federal Government, the university was poised to render world-class educational services and training to its students and other stakeholders.
The varsity don added, “In university administration, you can not compared in terms of funding what the Federal Government can do, and what the state government can do. Of course, when the Federal Government takes over an institution, it inherits all the assets and liabilities of that institution.
“And one of the things the FG does is to take over the funding of that institution. Funding has been a major factor when it comes to institutions like this. So, the FG is taking over the staff salaries, the FG is taking over the capital projects and the FG is taking over the running cost. And that’s huge. It’s quite huge.
“Now, we have been upgraded from a state university to a federal university. And, currently, we now have a better chance to enjoy capital projects, because TETFUND, which is a branch of the federal ministry of education is there to take care of tertiary institutions. This arm of the federal ministry of education handles most of the capital projects going on in the universities, including interventions as much as N3 billion per year. That’s huge.
“A federal university enjoys more of these interventions than state universities, even though state universities also enjoy these benefits. We intend to build our Information and Communications Technology centre here and put up another hostels. With TETFUND funding, we can do that easier.”