Four days into the one-month warning strike declared by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the federal government has made a move towards addressing one of the striking union’s demands.

The government on Thursday announced the setting up of 21 panels to draft the whitepapers for the reports of visitations earlier sent to Nigerian tertiary institutions to review the activities of the various tertiary institutions across the country.

According to a statement by Ben Goong, director, press and public relations at the ministry of education, the education minister, Adamu Adamu, constituted 10 panels for 36 universities; six for 25 polytechnics, and five for 21 colleges of education.

The statement noted that the panels, to be inaugurated in the coming days, are given two weeks from the date of inauguration to submit their reports.

Visitation panels

ASUU had demanded that the government release whitepapers on the reports of the visitation panels constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari in April 2021 to visit 88 tertiary institutions across the country.

They lamented that many months after the submission of reports to the government it is yet to release the whitepapers.

While declaring its warning strike on Monday, ASUU demanded an immediate release of the whitepapers to address the lapses in the administration of federal universities.

The panels, which were constituted based on ASUU’s request, had submitted their reports to the education minister in August, 2021.

While receiving the report, Mr Adamu, who was represented by the minister of state for education, Chukuwuemeka Nwajiuba, promised that the government will give adequate attention to the recommendations contained in the reports.

Parts of the visitation panel’s term of references in April 2021, was to review the performance of each institution assigned in the area of governance, academic standards, quality assurance, management of finances, relationships between the management and the staff, as well as the structures of the schools’ infrastructure and instructional materials.

The visitation panels were also asked to look into the financial management of the institutions, compliance to procurement laws, and investigate the application of funds particularly the special grants and loans made for specific projects, among others.

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