80 Professors in race for Federal University, Lokoja VC job

No fewer than 80 professors have applied for the position of Vice Chancellor at the Federal University, Lokoja, Kogi State

The Senate and Governing Council of the University, which made the disclosure Tuesday in Abuja, said it has commenced the processes of selecting a replacement the outgoing Vice Chancellor, Professor Angela Freeman Miri, whose tenure will end in February 2021

Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University, Senator Chris Adighije, who spoke with some journalists in his office in Abuja said the process to appoint a new VC had commenced with a committee for selection put in place.

He revealed that the successor to the Vice Chancellor would be announced early December.

Adighije, who assured of absolute transparency in the selection process, said the council will only settle for the best among the 80 names as it aims to put the University in a position to compete favourably and catch up with already existing ones

He also highlighted some challenges facing the new University as it cannot be compared with the old Federal Universities, which may have stabilized, adding however that his target and that of the governing council is to raise the bar of the University

Speaking on the selection of the VC, Adighije said, “off course, you know that the tenure of the present Vice Chancellor will expire on 21st February 2021. By law and convention we are in the process of selecting a successor and in doing that we are insisting on due process. It is taking a lot of our attention and the applications closed on 16th October.

“Shortly after that, proper compilation of applications which include; LGA, age, qualification and other such requirements would be done according to the advert that was put out.

“The management team has compiled that as supervised by a member of the Council.”

On the number of applicants, he said, “We have about 80 applications and we will soon be in the process of short listing. A date has been fixed for that and a five-man Committee is saddled with that responsibility. After that, we will now go on to the main selection.

“There is a selection board that would be made up of two external members of the Council, two members of the Senate who are not members of the Council while the committee would be chaired by the Chairman of Council. There will be five members of the selection board.

“The plan and proposal the Council has accepted is to ensure that the new VC would emerge by 4th December, this year. This will create room for transition because the current VC will be leaving by the middle of February, 2021.

“This is a federal University and we have received applications from across section of Nigerians who want to occupy the exalted office.”

The Chairman, however explained that the Council had earlier employed the Chief Librarian and Bursar for the University.

Asked if it was done in line with Federal Character, he said, “definitely. we had a representative of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) who was there with us throughout the process. They were present.”

On whether the Council was facing any challenges on the selection or where the VC must come from, Senator Adighije said, “well, as far as I am concerned, you know there must be side talks but there has not been any official protest or official petition for that matter but naturally, people must be saying that this University must be staffed by indigenes but that is well taken care of.”

He also commended the outgoing VC, who has been there for the past five years, noting that “She and her management team have done very well.

“In fact in terms of the other 11 Universities that were created at the same time, our University has done very well in the number of Courses and Faculties they have. It is growing and at the rate it is growing, it is going to catch up with the older generation Universities just after another five years.

“The process of moving to the Permanent Site, poor finances are issues confronting us as a new University but we have to do what we are doing. Council members and management have been working together to see how they can have a seamless process.”

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