IMPACT OF FUNDS MANAGEMENT ON THE PERFORMANCE OF SPECIALISED FEDERAL UNIVERSITIES IN NIGERIA
Specialized federal universities are established separate from the general universities to engage in research and development as indispensable to national economic development. To translate these laudable objectives into concrete reality, adequate funding must be accorded to specialized federal universities. It is still not clear whether the funds management influence the performance of these specialized universities. This study examined the impact of funds management on the performance of specialized federal universities in Nigerian. The study used both primary and secondary sources of data; the secondary data utilized are the Annual Budget estimates while the primary utilized questionnaire administered. The Simple regression was used to address the quantitative aspect of the study and simple percentage was used to address the qualitative aspect of the study. The result of the study reveals that funds management has significant impact on the physical facilities, researches and number of graduates produced by specialized federal universities. The study therefore, recommends among others that the federal government should increase its funding (capital, recurrent and research grants) to specialized federal universities and encourage internally generated revenue by ensuring state and local government, private enterprises and other non- government agencies (i.e. third party) are contributing their quota.
1.1 Background to the Study
The major objective for the establishment of specialized universities separate from conventional universities is to focus solely on some specific subsectors of the economy because of their importance to national development. In emphasizing the reason for the establishment of specialized universities, Obasanjo (2000) states that the need for specialized universities to ensure speedy transformation of science and technology in Nigeria was intended to institutionalized the teaching of science at the tertiary level with a the view to repositioning Nigeria for the challenges ahead.
It is in a bid to show its commitment to this important sector of the economy, that the Federal Military Government under President Ibrahim Babangida established universities of Agriculture as institutional infrastructure to correct the obvious defects of the colonial paradigm for research, extension and training (Idachaba, 1988).
Universities of agriculture were established separate from the general universities against the background to the weaknesses and defects of existing network of faculties in federally – owned general universities and state owned universities; extension services of state ministries of agriculture, the agriculture development projects and a multiplicity of tertiary institutions offering sub degree programmes in agriculture (Idachaba, 1988).
It is against the above and many other backgrounds, that the universities of agriculture were established with the aims of providing prompt solution to farmers’ practical problems, raising farm output and incomes and accelerating the drive towards national food sufficiency (Idachaba, 1988).
The Federal Universities of Technology were also established to give effect to the nation’s drive for the much-needed self-reliance in science, engineering and technology.
The establishment of specialized federal universities is a step in the right direction. Whether the good intentions will materialize depends largely on the translation of declared political intent of creating the universities into sustained political commitment and the management of the available funds that will impact positively on specialized federal universities. It hardly needs to be emphasized that as adequate funding holds the key to the success of every establishment, so it is to specialized universities. It was in a bid to emphasize the need for adequate funding to specialized universities that Idachaba (1988), asserts that the choice that must be made is either to continue with the old time of exhortations,
platitudes and defective existing institutional structures or backup declared political intent in the new approach to agricultural research, training and service with required funding to make a positive revolutionary difference.
Although adequate funding of specialized federal universities in Nigeria is important, but the management of available funds by specialized universities is much more important. Every organization has an objective that prompted its formation. It is the pursuance of the goal that necessitates the acquisition of funds. To achieve this purpose of its existence, the use of funds must not be left to chance. Consequently, funds are of no value if they are not applied to the attainment of specific goals; not just any goals but goals, which are central to institutions reasons for existing. Obasanjo (2004) stress that “Technological oriented universities in the country must show-case the result of their research work to justify the huge government investment on them”.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The establishment of specialized federal universities separately from general purpose universities is to engage in research and development which have been identified as indispensable to national economic development. However, complaints from the management of specialized universities show that funds allocated to these universities are inadequate (Idachaba, 1988). According to Babangida (1998), government on its part has frowned at the poor management of funds in federal universities. The government has also called on specialized federal universities to justify the huge government investment on them (Obasonjo, 2004).
Consequently, could the challenges of physical facilities, graduate output and research output in our universities be that of poor funding or management of available funds? This is very important as no organization as observed by Mikailu(2002) can succeed or even survive without sound decision on the
management of its resources.
In view of the above, the question then is, has the funds management in specialized federal universities in Nigeria any significant impact on the physical facilities, research and number of graduates? This research work is set out to examine the impact of funds management on the performance of specialized
federal universities in Nigeria.