UNIVERSITY OF JOS, JOS. SPEECH PRESENTED TO THE GOVERNING
COUNCIL ON THE 29TH JUNE, 2017 BY PRINCE TONY MOMOH, THE
PRO-CHANCELLOR AND CHAIRMAN OF THE GOVERNING COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF JOS, JOS
Greetings to all of you gathered here at the start of the journey that should last four years beginning from May 9, 2017 when the Council was inaugurated along with 22 other Federal Universities at Abuja. Immediately after the inauguration, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Seddi Sebastian Maimako, invited us to the University's liaison office in Abuja. He shocked me when he said we were the 13th Council of the University of Jos, So here I am as Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the 13thCouncil being followed by that dreaded number 13! I smiled because while many have dreaded the number 13, it seems that the number 13 has been a "success" number for me.
I was the 13thEditor of the Daily Times (1976-1980); the 13th Minister of Information of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1986-1990) and now the 13th Chairman of the Governing Council of the University of Jos, I live at Plot 13 Bush Street, Okupe Estate Lagos, and my law office is at 13 Sylvia crescent, Anthony Village, Lagos. But one thing has emerged in my experience over time with the number 13 as company. There is nothing I have had any reason whatsoever to regret doing or had a plan to do that did not succeed. So Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I predict that this assignment will succeed.
But let me first welcome all of you to this meeting which was made possible because of the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR and Mallam Adamu Adamu, Hon. Minister of Education, that we be responsible at this time, within the latitude of the University Act, to assist to develop the entire university system of Jos.
In this regard, we will develop an elaborate and implementable strategic action policy. We will boldly interface with all the necessary and relevant people and institutions on behalf of the University in order to make the University ofJos greater than we met it.
While the Governing Council of the University will pursue the realization of the prime philosophy, vision and mission of the University, the day-to-day management of the University will be left in the hands of the Vice Chancellor and his management team of the University.
We will ensure infrastructural development of the University. The ongoing projects, if any, will urgently be completed while new projects will be initiated. Funds will be sought from various sources to ensure swift completion of projects that will be initiated. I will address funding of projects shortly but any funds generated will be carefully aligned with the projects and we will ensure that they are completed in good time. We will ensure an equitable students-staff ratio. We will strive to surpass the NUC minimum standards for laboratory and other facilities provision in the University.
We will assist to re-systematise the University to generate and judiciously use Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). University of Jos has the capacity for huge IGR generation. Like most other Universities in the country, various gaps exist to explore this wholesome opportunity. We will rekindle the entrepreneurial initiatives of the University and strive to link up the University with industry, commerce and international organisations.
The University must have a functional publication policy and a strong and functional Publishing House like universities in other developed climes of the world. This is meant to galvanize, from depth, the intellectual potentials of the University into world class publications. Certainly, this will showcase the high class and societal value of the University of Jos, also it will improve the public perception, image and international rating of the University.
We will ensure that the funds accruing to the University in various ways are appropriately managed. It is pertinent to note that a well-managed university will depend less on funds from the Federal Government through innovative entrepreneurship.
The quality of a university's total performance depends on the curriculum system, teaching, learning and research, all of which are hinged on the vision and mission of the University. High academic value system is the bedrock of sourcing quality staff and ensuring productive interactions among faculties. We will encourage the University Management to gun for the best brains ever possible for employment as University staff - academic and non-teaching staff.
The pace and rate of development of a university largely depends on the quality decisions taken by the Governing Council and the University Management. The Governing Council will ensure that appropriate decisions are made using relevant and up-to-date information sourced within and outside the University. Democratic principles will be the order and ethos of activities of the Governing Council.
We wish to assure you that staff welfare is important to this Governing Council. There is need for motivation; therefore, training and promotion of appropriate staff of the University will occupy our centre of action. Academic and non-teaching staff will earn their promotion as and when due without delay or intrigues.
We wish to observe and state here without equivocation that though the Governing Council is made up of internal and external members, it will be guided by the University Act and we will ensure that cooperation exists between the rank and file of the Governing Council.
We will work together to move the University forward. This is a necessary challenge which will be met by the way we attend to funding outlets which I now want to address.
Since our inauguration, I have thought a great deal about the constraints in accessing public support for funding of projects in our universities. These constraints can be overcome only if we as Council members remain on the same page throughout our tenure in our determination to leave the University of Jos much, much better overall than we met it.
I set up a small group to discuss funding for projects and programmes for what I had started referring to as our University. That is the University of Jos, We identified nine external and six internal constraints we must expect to tackle; I itemize them without elaboration.
- External factors Donor Fatigue - too many institutions seeking donations from the few deep pockets around.
Weak donation culture apart from those to meet religious obligations.
Widespread unemployment that imposes heavy financial burdens on those who are employed to take care of their friends and relations.
Inadequate economic and social infrastructures that eat deep into the earnings of individuals and institutions.
Greed reflected in more taking than giving.
Unrealistic reliance on government to fund everything.
Near absence of the children of moneybags and the middle class among the student population of public universities in Nigeria.
Uninspiring images of Nigeria's public universities.
General poor state of Nigerian Public universities that do not inspire confidence in the Nigerian university system. Among the unedifying challenges that confront many Nigerian universities are congested classrooms and hostels, dearth of research, dilapidated infrastructures, poor staff incentives and catchment area politicking!
- Lack of leadership involvement in fund raising programmes and activities.
Most Nigerian university vice chancellors are so busy that they have little or no time to engage in fund-raising activities.
Poor accountability - Many Nigerian public universities hardly account for donors' moneys. This happens in several ways:
- When in need, the Bursar may borrow the money donated to
undertake a research project and never return it
- The research may never start, but the money would have been spent
- Those in charge of implementing the project for which donations were sourced from donors, may never issue a report on the status of the project, until the donor begins to ask questions.
Poor definition and conceptualization of projects and programmes for which the university is seeking public support, in the form of donations and endowments. To persuade donors to support a university project or programme, the project must be:
- Properly defined in terms that can make its implementation possible.
- The cost must be well-worked out and must be known.
- The project life-cycle must be known - when it will start and end, and
the outcome that is expected. In particular, critical milestones must
be identified and strategies to achieve each of them, known and
- Efforts to rein in slippages in the implementation of the project must
be clear, etc.
Absence of a dynamic donors' database. A university's donor' database consists of two vital components:
- Alumni and their friends. Most Nigerian universities do not look for
their alumni, and do not consistently engage those who are in their
- Other donors who support the university in one way or the other.
- Absence of enabling tools. We still have many Nigerian universities whose
web sites are not only poorly designed, but also not updated and functioning.
Victimisation of students, extortion and sorting - practices that make many Nigerian graduates of public universities to avoid contacts with their alma mater.
In view of the constraints mentioned, how can our University generate donations and endowments in support of its projects and programmes. We should give consideration to the following suggestions:
- Let us set up a cloud-based donors' database, made up of two separate
components that are remotely connected:
• A general donors' database; and
• An alumni database
These two cloud-base databases should be accessible from anywhere in the world and at any time with appropriate back-up in Jos,
- Let us engage in consistent and productive marketing and advertisement to find our university's alumni and drive traffic to the site where the database are housed.
- Let our university push efforts to locate UNIJOS alumni to the departmental level with each Head of Department being made responsible to look for and organize into a formidable group its department's alumni.
- Let us engage the assistance of all individuals/institutions that the university can find, to find the UNIJOS alumni within their orbits. For example, UNIJOS can launch a "Find 10 Alumni Programme".
- Let us focus on sourcing for small amounts of donations from a large group of people, without neglecting the large donors.
- Let us make it easy and convenient for donors to make their donations. In today's interconnected world, relatively small amounts can be paid out from one's bank account from a phone, a laptop, etc. from anywhere.
- Let us properly define and articulate the projects and programmes for which UNIJOS is seeking public support in the form of donations and endowments.
- Let us conduct mini fund launch as where donors can be educated on what the university is doing and what the needs are.
- Let each Council member be directly involved in marketing the cultivation of high net worth contacts outside the University, particularly at the corporate level. Here ground rules must be set and adhered to.
- Let us put in place a reasonable, but affordable budget for marketing donations and endowments. Money must be used to chase money.
- Let us set up a marketing fund into which those who want to sponsor any of the donations-related marketing activities can do so.
- Let us refocus staff in UNIJOS to leave their cozy offices for the field to chase donations in an organized manner. Here again certain rules have to be put in place.
- Let us get UNIJOS' senior academics to do research and begin to publish the results. Here, the university can start from researching small issues and publishing the results. There is really no point embarking on complicated research when the expertise is lacking and the system to monitor the third-party funding that may be involved is not in place.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, we cannot address any challenge without tools which must be deployed to facilitate the marketing of donations and endowments. These include, among others:
- Video documentaries that focus attention on the needs of the university.
Here it is important to note that it is what the university can do that matters more than simply displaying the dilapidated infrastructures that have to be fixed.
- A robust, but affordable marketing, promotional and advertisement budget has to be put in place. Should the university shy away from putting a reasonable budget in place, in this regard, donations will retaliate by shying
away too. Here the university must adopt a long- term view of the results that are expected and therefore, be consistent for some time in running any of the agreed marketing, promotional and advertisement programmes that it has decided to do.
- Well-written pamphlets, handouts, complimentary cards, posters, etc. may also be useful. However, these are usually effective when an endowment fund is to be launched.
I must apologise for taking this long in welcoming all of you to the inaugural meeting of Council. At 78, I sought for assignment that would not stress me. I have since inauguration of Council been thinking about our assignment here that we are in for a most stressful outing. I hope my success number 13 sees us through.
I thank you for your patience and attention.
Prince Tony Momoh
Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, University of Jos.