19 Oct 2012

When the NUC Nukes.

The National Universities Commission was established in 1962 as an advisory agency in the Cabinet Office.  However in 1974, it became a statutory body and the first Executive Secretary, in the person of Prof. Jibril Aminu was then appointed. The National Universities Commission (NUC) is a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Education (FME). The Commission has a Governing Council, its Executive Secretary is Prof. Julius A. Okojie, who assumed office on August 3, 2006.

In its over 47 years of existence, the Commission has transformed from a small office in the cabinet office to an important arm of government in the area of development and management of university education in Nigeria.          

The main functions of the Commission are outlined as follows:
i. Granting approval for all academic programmes run in Nigerian universities;
ii. Granting approval for the establishment of all higher educational institutions offering degree programmes in Nigerian universities;
iii. Ensure quality assurance of all academic programmes offered in Nigerian universities; and
iv. Channel for all external support to the Nigerian universities.  

            The Nigeria Universities Commission, NUC has started sanitizing the education sector. Exerting their power to grant and take away approval for tertiary institutions to run, the NUC announced the suspension of the operational licenses of (7) seven private Universities for not being able to meet up with its established targets on school facilities and academic programmes.
            The suspended Universities were;
  • Lead City University, Ibadan,
  • Madonna University, Okija,
  • Tansia University, Umunya,
  • Joseph Ayo Babalola University Arakeji, Osun State,
  • Caritas University, Enugu,
  • Achievers University, Owo
  • Obong University, Akwa Ibom.
            According to a source at the PUNCH, the decision to suspend the operational licenses of the affected universities was due to their non-compliance with the regulations guiding the operations of universities in the country as stipulated by the NUC.

            “The operators of the universities affected know their offences because so many times, we have informed them about their failings but they did not take necessary steps to address their shortcomings. Anyway, It’s just a suspension and it will be lifted as soon as they do the correct things,” the sourced said.

            The statement was further confirmed by NUC Director of press and Public Relations, Mallam Ibrahim Yakassai. NUC and Lead City University had been involved in a legal tussle over the illegal offering of law and post graduate degrees. The NUC later announced the suspension of all part-time programmes run by these Universities in the country. The Executive Secretary of the commission, Prof. Julius Okojie  said the suspension of the part- time programmes was to enable the regulatory body “streamline” them and ensure  universities  score over 70% in all areas of assessment, including the provision of library facilities before it would be accredited.
            As of the 9th of August 2012, three of the above suspended universities ( Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), Ikeji-Arakeji, Osun State; Achievers University, Owo, Ondo State and Tansian University, Umunya, Anambra State.) have had their suspensions lifted.

            A letter from the NUC Management to the university, dated 16th July, 2012, reads in part:
            “The Commission is satisfied with the actions so far taken by the university, as well as the assurances of the Vice-Chancellor and the Board of Trustees during our interactions and verification of documents.”

            Careful observations have revealed that the NUC made a smart choice in their suspension of the listed universities. There is a familiar complaint within the Nigerian community, of doctors who can’t use syringes properly, of engineers poor at math, and the famous story is of these poorly educated people being bad at learning. Most of the time the other side is ignored. Bad facilities could lead to the production of Dr. X who can’t diagnose properly, or Engineer Y who can’t do math. In making sure these universities have quality and effective facilities, numerous future disasters have been avoided and proper education can begin.
             A forensic investigation is said to be ongoing at the other universities to check changes that have been made. Hopefully they meet up to these parameters and offer our youth quality education that would help them conquer and rule the world.


Wale Bakare

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