who spoke to journalists in his office in Kano recently, affirmed
that the permanent way out of strikes is to have a fundamental
improvement in the system, which addresses both conditions of work
and service. Conditions of service deal with salaries and allowances
but conditions of work deal with classrooms, laboratories, research
His words, "In the Nigerian University system, both conditions of
work and service are very poor, compared to even our neighbours in
Africa not to talk of what obtains abroad. Unless you have
substantial improvement in these areas, frankly, we may continue to
have crises. But if we are lucky to we have a listening government
that can appreciate the problems and take the trouble to do its
best, the problem would be tackled.
"That is all we are asking. We are not asking the government to do
impossible things. Other countries are doing the right things; our
government should also try to do the right thing. That right thing
is to invest appropriately in education."
Jega noted that government's intervention in the poor conditions of
work and service would also help in nipping in the bud, incidences
of student riots and cultism on Nigerian campuses. He revealed that
in the last two years, BUK has received over N350 million in the
form of cash, donations and equipment from a few corporate
organisations and state governments, mainly from the catchment areas
of the university.
The vice chancellor also revealed that from 2001 to date, BUK also
collected a grant of over $ 5 million from MacArthur Foundation, a
United States based philanthropic organisation. The money, he said,
has helped in equipping laboratories, procuring up to date
facilities for the department of Mass Communications, and the
sponsorship of 35 staff members of the university to pursue a Ph.D
He also revealed that the money facilitated the establishment of new
programmes in Computer Science, Electronic Engineering, Computer
Engineering, Agric Engineering as well as the construction and
equipping of the Centre for Information Technology.
Enjoining corporate organisations, wealthy individuals to come to
the aid of BUK, he said a lot still needs to be done to improve the
standard of teaching and learning in the institution. He cited the
rehabilitation of the Mass Communication studio as well as that of
the Faculty of Technology established in 1982 as some of the
daunting tasks facing the University.
He said the Faculty of Technology alone would require at least N600
million, which acknowledged could not be obtained from the state
government for now.
The vice chancellor observed that the number of candidates seeking
for admission into the BUK for the current academic session has
risen from 10,000 to 21,000 based on application statistics obtained
from the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) This, he
said is aside the number of anticipated direct entry applicants,
which is expected to make total admission applicants rise to 30,000.
The VC who acknowledged that not all applicants would be offered
admission in view of the limited spaces available. He said the UME
science and arts based applicants would be subjected to quantitative
and verbal screening.
He noted: "We have a quota of 3, 771 spaces for admission. So, for
every one person admitted, there are at least 78 others seeking for
that position. There is a paradox: more applicants and limited
spaces. However, we would ensure that only the best scale through.
We would maintain the standard so as not to compromise quality and
credibility of the institution. Obviously we would like to give a
chance to anybody who qualifies but it is simply impossible"
On the recent decision by the university authority to ban the use of
tinted glass by motorists, he said it was borne out of the need to
improve security on campus. "We have realised that people are hiding
behind tinted glasses to come into campus to cause problem for us.
We have now installed CCTV cameras at all our gates both old and new
campus. It is for the sake of identification. The rule covers all
categories of the glasses. It has helped us. We have started
identifying people who have attempted to steal vehicles on campus
already," he stated.
Reiterating his resolve to re-train staff members of the
institution, he revealed that in the last 2 years, the university
has recruited up to 200 academic members of staff with requisite