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Lalong pledges to resolve crisis stalling Karl Kumm Varsity take-off

Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalong, has pledged his administration’s readiness to address the challenges and resolving the suspension of the licence of Karl Kumm University (KKU), Vom in Plateau State, owned by the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN).

 

This was as the governor directed the state Commissioner for Higher Education and the Head of Service (SSG) to immediately engage all stakeholders towards resolving the misunderstanding that led to the suspension of the licence of the private university.

 

Lalong disclosed this when the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council of the university led members of the Governing Council on a visit to the Government House at Rayfield, Jos.

 

He expressed displeasure on how the new university, which got operational license in 2021 could not take-off due to misunderstanding with the host community over the appointment of the University Registrar based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with the people.

 

Thus, the governor insisted  that the problem must be resolved without further delay given the fact that the university which had been in incubation for over 18 years was finally given the nod to operate by the National Universities Commission (NUC) having fulfilled the requirement, but only to have such approval truncated.

 

The governor said the state government had restrained itself from meddling in the affairs of the private institution with the hope that the issues would be sorted out quickly, but that the government would now have to be involved based on the request of the Governing Council and the fact that the entire state stands to lose if the university failed to take off.

 

Lalong said: “Plateau State is known as a hub of education and we are proud of COCIN for the contribution of its educational institutions, which have produced great minds in the country. However, this development at the KKU does not speak well for the state and must be addressed immediately.

 

Last week, when I visited Mr. President, I appealed to him to sign the Bill passed by the National Assembly to upgrade the Federal College of Education, Pankshin to a University of Education.

 

While we are looking for more universities, we have to show that we are ready to be good hosts.”

 

Responding, the Pro-Chancellor, Prof. Ochapa Onazi told the governor how the unfortunate incident had robbed the university of one year since the approval of its licence, even as he explained that the matter in question was very clear and easy to resolve as the management of the institution acted on truth and justice.

 

He said that the decision not to appoint the candidate as Registrar which did not go down well with the host community was not in bad faith, but in keeping with the NUC’s laid down procedures of ensuring that all staff members engaged meet the requirements.

 

Onazi added: “We have explained to the host community that we could not have gone ahead to appoint a candidate with deficiencies and create further problems for the new institution.

 

We have also explained to the community the fact that there are other appointments of principal officers for the university yet to be done which we hope will consider their interest based on the MoU.

 

However, the youths have refused to bulge despite all entreaties from us and the plea by the Dagwom Rwei, the traditional ruler of the area.”

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