Fred Ezeh, Abuja
No fewer than 80 Professors have officially indicated interest to replace the outgoing Vice Chancellor of Federal University, Lokoja, Kogi State, Prof. Angela Freeman Miri, whose tenure will end in February next year.
Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the University, Senator Chris Adighije, who disclosed the information to journalists in Abuja, on Tuesday, confirmed that the selection process has commenced and the new VC, expectedly, will be announced on first week of December.
He explained: “the tenure of the present Vice Chancellor will expire on 21st February, 2021. We are in the process of selecting a successor, and in doing that we are insisting on due process. Applications closed on 16th October, and over 80 Professors submitted applications.
“We will soon start the process of shortlisting. 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’s a selection board 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. In total, there will be five members of the selection board.
“Our desire is to ensure that the new VC emerge by 4th December, this year. This will create room for smooth transition period because the current VC will be leaving by the middle of February, 2021.
“Being a Federal University, we received applications from across Nigeria who want to occupy the exalted office. Recently, we employed the Chief Librarian and Bursar for the University, and the process was transparent and favorable to all.”
He, however, confirmed that the selection process for the new VC is being done in line with Federal Character. “We had a representative of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) who was there with us throughout the process for the Bursar and Chief Librarian,” he added.
On whether the Council was facing challenges on the selection or where the VC must come from, Senator Adighije said, “there must be side talks but there has not been any official protest or official petition for that matter. But naturally, people, particularly indigenes must desire that the University must be staffed by indigenes but that is well taken care of.”
On accreditation of relevant courses by the National Universities Commission (NUC), he said, “I must commend the VC. She and her management team have done very well in the past five years.”
He added: “Compared to 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’s growing and it will catch up with other renowned Universities just after another five years.
“The process of moving to the permanent site, poor finances are issues confronting us but we are taking care of that. Council members and management have been working together to see how they can have a seamless process.”