The Plateau State University, Bokkos was established pursuant to the Plateau State University Law N0. 4 of 2005 published as Plateau State of Nigeria Gazette N0. 3 Vol. 11 of 24th May, 2006.
Early Efforts towards Establishment of a University in Plateau State
It was the very first Governor of the State, Joseph Dechi Gomwalk, who made the earliest move towards the establishment of a university in the state by inviting the University of Ibadan to open a campus in Jos, in 1971. This campus was later taken over by the Federal Government of Nigeria to become the University of Jos. Thirty years later, still concerned that the Federal university was not quite fulfilling the aspirations of the State, the then Governor, Joshua Chibi Dariye set up a Planning Committee to investigate the feasibility of establishing a State university.
Cognisant of the crucial role of qualitative education, particularly higher education, in enhancing quality of life and standard of living, improving productivity and competitiveness in the fast-changing economy of the modern world - where knowledge as a resource is supplanting physical capital – the Government of Plateau State publicly expressed its desire to establish a university during the presentation of the 2002 budget in December 2001. His Excellency, Chief Joshua C. Dariye, the then Executive Governor of Plateau State, made a policy statement to the effect that Government was to establish a state University of Science and Technology. A fifteen-member Special Planning Committee for the proposed university was appointed and subsequently inaugurated on 25th June, 2002 with Professor Ochapa C. Onazi and Mr. D. G. Fompun as Chairman and Secretary respectively. The Committee’s terms of reference were:
i) To look at the feasibility of establishing a State University of Science and Technology;
ii) To identify and recommend a suitable site for the location of the University;
iii) To identify all the critical requirements necessary for the smooth take off of the institution and
iv) To make appropriate recommendations that would guide the State Government in the take-off of the University.
After considering and accepting the recommendations in the report of the Special Planning Committee, the Government constituted an Implementation Committee of six (6) on 30th September, 2003. The Implementation Committee, under the leadership of Assoc. Prof. John Wokton Wade, mni and Secretary, Sir. Joseph L. Fomwul, had the sole aim of ensuring the successful take-off of the university. The mandate of the Implementation Committee included:
a) To study the Report and the subsequent White Paper on the proposed Plateau State University of Science and Technology and implement decisions in liaison with appropriates agencies;
b) To brief the Executive Governor of Plateau State on its activities from time to time and
c) To ensure the smooth take-off of an apex institution of learning in the State.
In the course of implementation, however, there arose an overwhelming demand for the proposed State University to provide learning in the Arts as well. The Government then graciously accepted the Committee’s recommendation that the University be changed from a University of Science and Technology to a conventional State university offering courses across the full range of disciplines.
Establishment of Plateau State University
On 7th March, 2005, the Plateau State University, Bokkos became a corporate entity when the bill to establish the University became law, upon having been assented to by Governor Dariye. On the 17th March 2005, by virtue of the powers conferred on the visitor of the University in the 3rd Schedule, Section 13, Article 9(1) (a) of the University Law, His Excellency appointed two principal officers for the University, namely, the Vice-Chancellor (Assoc. Prof. J. W. Wade mni) and Registrar (Sir. J. L. Fomwul, KSM). The first Governing Council of the University headed by Prof. Ochapa C. Onazi was also constituted and inaugurated thereafter.
The Plateau State University symbolises the aspirations of the people of the State to build an institution of higher learning where the citizenry have access to tertiary education for the enlightenment, training in skills and professional expertise for the development of the State. Its name, Plateau State University, depicts its possession and management by the people it also serves.