The National Universities Commission has decried what it termed the overbearing influence of proprietors in private universities across the country.
The national regulatory body for universities also lamented the excessive profit-inclined orientation of the said proprietors.
In its latest guideline for the governance of private universities in the country, the commission said, “As the regulator, NUC has had to carry out forensic audits of several of the universities since 2012. The exercise revealed several issues in the governance of many private universities in Nigeria.
Some key highlights of these issues are; poor implementation of the NUC-approved governance structure, poor implementation of the university’ committee system, over-bearing influence of proprietors/promoters in the administration of the university, undermining the roles of the Vice-Chancellors as chief executives of their universities, and poor or lack of delineation of roles and responsibilities between the governance structures.
Others, according to the commission, are excessive profit-orientation of many proprietors to the detriment of the social contract aspect of universities, poor financial management of the universities, interference in the financial management of some private universities, and irregularities in the engagement of staff of the universities, including their teaching staff.
The centre in its submission stated, “These and other observed infractions had continued to plague the private university sub-system in Nigeria and threaten its sustainability. NUC, being mindful of the issues related to poor governance in the affected institutions, decided to issue a Governance Code to address the peculiar circumstances of private universities in Nigeria.”