The National Universities Commission (NUC) may have stunned Nigerians and indeed the international community recently as it announced that no fewer than 34 illegal universities were operating in the country.
Sadly, the list of the affected institutions showed that some foreign universities were operating in the country without the pre-requisite Federal Government approval. What’s more, some of the institutions are campuses of universities in the United Kingdom, such as Camlumbus, Tiu International Pebbles, Aston and London External Studies, among others.
Again, the list of the illegal institutions operating across the country include the United States International University, Missouri, in Kano and Lagos, Volta University College, Ghana and all its campuses, as well as the University of Applied Science and Management, Port Novo, Republic of Benin and its campuses.
Others listed are St. Andrews University College, Abuja and its campuses: Halifax Gateway University, Ikeja, Blacksmith University, Awka, Samuel Ahmadu University, Makurdi and UNESCO University, Ndoni, Rivers State.
Reacting to the resurgence of illegal institutions in the country, Prof. Julius Okojie, Executive Secretary of NUC, warned that certificates obtained from such illegal universities would not be recognized for any purpose, and announced that the relevant law enforcement agencies had already been informed for necessary action.
As it were, the quest for the review of the accreditation criteria for the nation’s universities has in the recent past dominated public discourse. Reason: Most of the country’s universities are also (currently) running unaccredited programmes to the detriment of unsuspecting students.
Worried by the trend, the authorities of NUC, not too long ago, announced fresh plans to carryout a nation-wide review of the criteria earlier used for the accreditation of programmes being run by both public and private universities across the country.
Dropping the news in Abuja, Prof Okojie said the commission would now accredit institutions and not pgorammes again. His words: “we are now embarking on institutional accreditation because the accreditation programme has not achieved the desired result in recent times,” and insisted that the accreditation exercise would ensure that each university was well equipped to run its approved programmes.
NUC, Prof. Okojie said, would embark on the 2007 round accreditation in which 942 programmes in the 13 disciplines in 53 universities would be examined, and announced that already, 125 panels have been constituted for the accreditation exercise.
The commission’s executive secretary also hinted that during the “2007 Comprehensive accreditation exercise”, university programmes which earlier earned full accreditation status would be x-rayed, and that programems which earned interim accreditation would be reviewed.
Although NUC’s latest move to sanitase the nation’s university system is long overdue, it is worthy of commendation as it would save the decay that has over the years enveloped the nation’s university system, thereby making mockery of the degree certificates obtained from some of the nation’s universities.
Therefore, it is hoped the current steps by the commission would achieve the desired result so that universities would meet the dreams, and aspirations of their founding fathers. Their dreams must be kept alive in the interest of the nation.
Yes, NUC’s planned review of accreditation of universities and their programmes, must be spiritedly handled in order to halt the emergence of unapproved programmes that pervade the country’s university campuses.
One can recall vividly that towards the end of Prof Aborishade’s tenure as Education Minister, some programmes were stopped on the orders of the minister, an action that gladdened the heart of educationists and other well-meaning Nigerians.
Indeed, the then minister’s action paid off as scores of unaccredited programmes and unapproved satellite campuses of universities were closed down across the length and breadth of the country.
Sadly enough, some of the satellite campuses and unaccredited programmes that were shut by the Aborishade-led administration, have, to the chagrin of many, resurfaced again in some of the tertiary institutions.
This is why the NUC’s authorities should ensure that any programmes that do not scale through the planned review exercise, must not be allowed to resurface in any of the universities in the country through the back door.
We Get Petrol At N200 Per Litre From Depots, IPMAN Cries Out
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has decried the ‘unsustainable’ price that the private depot owners sell the premium motor spirit, otherwise known as petrol in the country.
Speaking, yesterday, on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, the Deputy National President of IPMAN, Zarama Mustapha, revealed that the private depots get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from the sole importer of the commodity, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited, however, sell it for as high as N195 to N210 to independent marketers, which is not sustainable.
“Though marketers get petrol at the approved price of N148/litre from NNPC depots, the company does not have enough storage facilities to cater to the needs of marketers, hence, the latter resorts to private depot owners. It is more of the issue of private depots collecting the products at the approved price and not selling to the independent marketers at a price approved by the mainstream, downstream regulatory authority.
“You cannot get a product at N195 to N200 and expect to sell it at N175,” he noted.
The IPMAN official said depot owners give excuses such as the cost of transporting the product from the mother vessel to their depots and escalation of the dollar as reasons for the price hike.
Mustapha lamented that most Lagos depots are in a chaotic situation and marketers spend three days to load refined petrol that they are not supposed to spend more than three hours to lift.
He urged the NNPC to engage depot owners to sell the product to marketers at the recommended price, saying the common man is at the receiving end.
For weeks, vehicle owners have had a tough time getting petrol from filling stations, especially in Lagos and Abuja.
Whilst many outlets are closed, the few open ones sell the indispensable commodity for as high as N250 per litre from the uniform price of N169/litre.
The supply shortage has led to long, gruelling snake-like queues at the few open filling stations as motorists and business owners jostle to buy fuel while others resort to the black market.
The situation has also worsened traffic on major roads as vehicle owners block at least one lane to join queues to filling stations.
Make Nigerian Youths Innovative, Buhari Tells Corporate Leaders
President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked leaders of corporate organisations to build the capacity of Nigerian youths to be innovative and embrace technology to make positive contributions to their organisations and the nation.
The president, represented by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, said this at the Institute of Directors (IoD) 2022 Annual Director’s Conference (ADC), yesterday, in Lagos.
The ADC had as its theme: “Corporate Governance and Digital Transformation: Leading Purposefully for Growth and Sustainability.”
Buhari, noting that the challenges associated with corporate governance were multifaceted, stressed the need for heads of organisations to harness technology to achieve effective governance.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to providing the necessary legal support and framework to support the entrenchment of good corporate governance practices across various sectors of the economy.
Buhari also pledged his commitment to supporting the IoD by giving the institute’s chartered bill the necessary consideration to enable it to achieve its mandate.
Deputy Secretary General, United Nations, Ms Amina Mohammed, said the world was hit by a series of global crises which have affected the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Mohammed said technology and digitalisation would set the era of digital transformation in areas of health, education, agriculture and finance.
Nigeria Does Not Belong To North, Arewa Youths Tell Northern Elders
The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has said that Nigeria does not belong to the North ahead of the 2023 general election.
Apparently reacting to the recent interview granted by a member of the Northern Elders Forum, Alh Sani Zango Daura, in which he called on the North to support a Northern candidate.
The AYCF, in a statement issued by its National President, Yerima Shettima, noted that supporting a southerner was clearly a demonstration of justice.
He noted that this was because Nigeria does not belong to the North alone, or Muslims and Christians of the North, insisting that “even on moral grounds, the most responsible political action by the North was the decision on powershift in 2023, because the Presidency cannot be hereditary and Nigeria is not a Banana Republic”.
Shettima further said, however, that the elder was expressing his personal opinion and not the stand of the North in general, saying that a “ little balancing was needed in position of our father Zangon Daura, more so when he admitted that the elders are mere escorts for the younger generation today”.
The AYCF noted that when 13 Northern governors led by Kaduna State Governor, Mal Nasirel-Rufai endorsed a Southern candidate for the 2023 presidency, they repeatedly cited political justice.
“Though we are not card-carrying members of the APC, we shared the view that the decision was in line with being fair to the South in 2023.
“We are aware, as well as our father ZangonDaura, that the North is respected for honouring its promises to the South and this one absolutely undeniable character of all Northerners.
“We are not known to break promises and that explains why our son, President MuhammaduBuhari never objected to the idea of a Southern presidential candidate in the ruling party. In the North, like our father ZangonDaura knows, promises are sacred and in fact a culture”.
It would be recalled that in a viral audio of AlhajiZangonDaura while addressing a group of youths, suggested that they should throw their weight behind a fellow Northerner for the presidency in 2023, citing historic and religious instances, something the AYCF said it believed was “overtaken by events, current realities, and the spirit of justice and fairness in the Nigerian project”.
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