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Why universities need total autonomy – Afanla



By Fatima Mohammed-Lawal

Registrar of the University of Ilorin, Mr Mansur Alfanla, on Wednesday, appealed to the Federal Government to grant universities total autonomy.

He told newsmen that partial autonomy granted to universities did not augur well for adequate and effective service delivery.

Alfanla explained that the imposition of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) by the Federal Government to pay varsity staff was a negation of the essence of varsity autonomy.

He added that money should be given to universities to pay their staff rather than centralising the payment in Abuja.

He said also that the essence of autonomy fought for by trade unions in universities was to enable their Governing Councils to take decisions based on their peculiar situations.

Alfanla stressed that varsities should not be looking to the Federal Government to take most of their decisions.

While appreciating some elements of the current level of autonomy granted universities, Alfanla said the government must hands off more in the running of universities to ensure effective service delivery.

He cited an example of the inability of the University of Ilorin to independently fill existing vacancies because of the Federal Government’s embargo on employment as one of the constraints being experienced.

He lamented the situation where the Governing Councils must wait for directives from the Federal Government before engaging new staff and taking immediate and critical decisions.

“More staff of the university are leaving its services as a result of retirement and in pursuit of greener pastures while others had died,” he noted.

Alfanla said also that there was a need to replace those that had left to avoid an overload of work on the ones still in service.

According to him, when an institution or community is granted autonomy, it is at liberty to take far-reaching decisions on a wide range of issues with minimal or no no-go areas.

The registrar also appealed to members of the public to always support the University of Ilorin as it was doing well in the discharge of its responsibilities.

He observed that most of the challenges hung on universities resulted from indifference by members of the public to poor public policy formulation and implementation.

Alfanla stressed that public support would always be needed in different areas for university administration to enable them to discharge their services effectively.

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