UNIJOS Plans Relocation To Permanent Site


After over three decades of operating on temporary site, the management of the University of Jos (UNIJOS), is making concerted efforts to move to its permanent site on Kaduna-Bauchi road.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Hayward Babale Mafuyai, who made this known in Jos, lamented that the relocation has been a battle the management has been fighting since 1975.

The main challenge that has hampered the relocation, according to him, can be traced to failure to claim its take off grants from the Federal Government since inception, even when younger universities have got theirs.

“The gradual movement commenced several years back with three of its faculties to the permanent site, where the library complex had to be converted to classrooms and offices to mark the beginning of academic activities.

“Why should the Federal Government single us out and deny us our take off grant when other second generation universities across Nigeria got theirs long ago and had since moved to their permanent sites? If government has appreciated the fact that we have a peculiar problem at the University of Jos, they would have been more forthcoming in helping us to solve some of them.

“This is a second generation university and the only one in that category that is still operating on its temporary site. What is responsible for this, we cannot say. Moving to the permanent site is not the kind of project our statutory allocation can solve. The cost of setting up the administrative block alone cost over a billion naira. The development of the permanent site needs special intervention from government.

“We have been appealing to government year-in, year-out on that issue, but nobody seemed to be listening to those appeals. How long should we continue to bear the risk of operating from three different campuses as a university? The school went so close towards getting a take off grant during President Obasanjo’s administration. Obasanjo responded positively by approving N1 billion to develop the permanent site, but from all indications, the school authorities have not been able to get the money till this moment,” he stated.

Owing to lack of funds, the university has been operating from three different campuses within Jos city—the permanent site, temporary site and the old campus on Murtala Muhammed Way, Jos.

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The three pioneering faculties are Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, while majority of its faculties such as Medical Sciences, Management Studies and Administration as well as some academic and administrative complex, are left to operate from the temporary site with its attendant security challenges.

Despite the frustration, Mafuyai believes that the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan will open windows of opportunities to access the grant.

Mafuyai is also hoping to leverage on the goodwill of successful old students of the university to raise funds.

“The university will exploit fully the opportunity of the alumni members occupying privileged positions in the current administration. We can boast of the person of Mr. Anyim Pius Anyim, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF). About four of the ministers and three governors are also our alumni as well as numerous lawmakers at the national and state Assemblies. Very soon, we shall take our cry to them and I strongly believe they will listen to us,” he said.

According to him, the Advancement Office is mobilising the over 40,000 alumni members to support their alma mater financially, an effort that is yielding positive results.

Its funding challenges notwithstanding, Mafuyai said the university’s commitment to academic excellence is not in doubt.

The management is projecting to be second to none among the universities in Nigeria, just as it aspires to be one of the best 10 in Africa and also rank among the best 100 in the world, he enthused.

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