President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Ministry of Education to abolish the policy of catchment areas in the admission of new students into Federal Government- owned institutions.
He stated this at the 45th convocation ceremony of the University of Benin in Edo State.
The President, who also ordered the ministry to sanction universities or any other institution that contravenes this directive, said the policy would commence from 2020
President Buhari, who was represented at the forum by the Deputy Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Suleiman Yusuf directed all federal universities to ensure that every local governments, states and geopolitical zones are represented in their admission of new entrants.
He said; “If you look at the demographics of the various Nigerian universities, they reveal a preponderance of over localisation and over indigenization with only a few universities including those owned by the federal government having a semblance of national institutions in terms of the national spread of their staff and students population.
“Universities should be more broad-minded, less parochial and eschew over indigenization.
“Government expects university managers to do a lot more with less, given the economic reality confronting us as a nation today. These call for innovative and transparent management practices.
“Funding is not just about the quantum of fund disbursed to universities, it also includes the judicious management of available funds to ensure that we get more mileage on whatever funds are expended.”
In his speech, outgoing Vice Chancellor of UNIBEN, Prof. Faraday Orumwense, said academic activities in the institution have taken a giant leap throughout the years he was in charge at the university, adding that the NUC gave full accreditation to the school’s educational programmes.