FG, ASUU Reach Agreement Over Strike

ASUU President, Dr. Nasir Isah-Fagge facing journalists after one of the meetings with the federal government.

The Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities have reached an agreement to end the over five month old strike by ASUU. The lecturer’s association has however said that its members may return to work next week.

The Supervising Minister of Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike told journalists at a meeting with the leadership of ASUU, President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Universities Commission and five vice- chancellors of universities that all contending issues between the parties have been resolved.

The parties signed a document to seal the agreement which spells great hope that the over five-month old strike may be called off within one week, although the president of ASUU, Professor Nasir Faggae declined to say what was contained in the document.

ASUU’s demands include the upward review of the retirement age for professors from 65 to 70; adequate funding to revitalise the university system; progressive increase of budgetary allocations to the education sector by 26 per cent; transfer of federal government property to universities; setting up of research and development units by companies; payment of earned allowances; and renegotiation of the signed agreement.

The agreement between the two is reached barely 24 hours after the Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe presented a proof of payment of N200 billion into an account with the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The strike began on July 1st 2013 and lasted for over five months before this resolution was reached.

 

 

Obasanjo Says Nigeria Not Lucky With Young Leaders

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has accused the younger generation of leaders of failing Nigerians as they have not exhibited integrity, probity and selflessness in their dealings while discussing issues on the integrity of leadership in Africa and sustainable development.

In his keynote address titled “leadership in Africa’s quest for sustainable development “, at a summit in Ibadan organised by the centre for sustainable development, university of Ibadan in collaboration with African sustainable development network, the fomer president said they lack integrity and probity and have failed their people woefully, and that the country may have been cursed with poor and irresponsible leaders.

Listing some younger Nigerians who had been in leadership positions, the former president said Nigeria was not lucky even with them.

He added that if after 53 years of independence, Nigerians have not commended any of their leaders as outstanding, it means in his words “then we are jinxed and cursed; we should all go to hell.”

Also, the Vice Chancellor University of Ibadan, Professor Isaac Adewole in his address, charged universities across Africa to play a leadership role in providing credible platform on national discuss on the future of the continent.

ASUU President Explain Reasons For Strike

The National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Nasir Issa-Fagee has said that the union embarked on the current strike because the Federal Government has only implemented two of the nine issues agreed on since 2009.

Mr Issa-Fagee, who was a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said the government did nothing about the agreement until the union went on strike in 2012.

“On 2nd February 2012, the union decided to suspend that strike on the understanding that the Memorandum of Understanding that we signed with the government will be fully implemented within the shortest possible time,” he said.

According to Mr Issa-Fagee, the only two items of the agreement that have been implemented are the review of the retirement age of Professors from 65 to 70 and the reinstatement of prematurely dissolved Governing Councils.

“The other issue that mostly has to do with adequate funding for the system for revitalizing of Nigerian Universities have not been met by government,” he said.

ASUU had on Monday declared indefinite strike action to compel the Federal Government to implement the agreement reached with the union in October 2009.

Below is the text of the press conference addressed on Monday by Mr Issa-Fagee to explain the rationale for strike:

Gentlemen of the Press,

At the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) held at the Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago-Iwoye, between 29th and 30th June 2013, a number of issues were raised on developments affecting the country’s education system and the Nigerian nation as a whole. These include the lingering crisis at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), the continued violation of the rights of the re-engaged 49 academics at the University of Ilorin, and the non-release of the White Paper on Special Visitation to the University of Abuja. Others include the parlous state of the economy, and Government’s disregard for its Agreements with our Union.

The Nigerian Educational Logjam

Gentlemen of the Press, the crisis affecting the Nigerian education sector stems largely from the failure of the Nigerian governments, over the years, to boldly address the suffocating challenges, which have stymied the development of the sector. It seems that while the Government is fully aware of the enormity of the infrastructural, personnel and other forms of decay at all levels, it does not have the courage to tackle these challenges for the good of the nation. This attitude on the part of Government has given critics the impression that perhaps Government is more comfortable with the uneducated class than it is with the educated one.

To compound this problem, the impression is often given that we are not in control of our educational policies as external and other influences have tended to show a national inclination to a weakened intellectual class which in turn prognosticates a desire for an ideologically barren, colonially dependent and financially deprived structure that is not primed for the growth and development of the system. ASUU challenges the Federal and State Governments, and other stakeholders who have responsibility for the education of the Nigerian people, to show great courage in implementing decisions, policies and agreements produced over time so as to put Nigerian education back on the fast lane. This should lead to the liberation of the Nigerian education system from the cloud of despair and despondency.

Gentlemen of the Press, you will recall that ASUU recently issued a Press Release over the untimely death of some Students’ Union leaders who were on their way to the University of Uyo. We used the opportunity to call for the common struggle to enthrone democratic governance in our tertiary institutions, with full respect for the rights of students to unionize. While this must be invigorated, we wish to note the unfortunate situation on our campuses today wherein most Students’ Union leaders, especially at the level of NANS, are possible drop-outs, government agents, Youth Corp members, and other questionable characters being foisted on genuine undergraduates in our universities by politicians and other officials of the State.

As a Union with a stake in the future of our youth and our nation, ASUU shall use her networks to monitor and identify the true status of those who currently parade themselves as student leaders nation-wide. We are determined to indigenize student unionism on our campuses. This is the only way the Students’ Union Movement can genuinely engage issues of noncommercial education with access to all; allocation of at least 26% of yearly budgets to education; declaration of emergency on the whole education system, revitalization of University system, etc.

The Crisis at RSUST

Gentlemen of the Press, you will recall that the crisis at River State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, has become a recurring decimal at our interactions with the media since August 2012 because it is an issue that is very close to our hearts. We remain steadfast in our support and solidarity with our members at RSUST in their principled struggle against poor governance and maladministration being perpetrated by the Vice-Chancellor and the Governing Council of the University.

It has become more evident that the Visitor to RSUST, Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, is brazenly adamant in his refusal to respect the laws establishing the University. The assault and harassment of our members in that University has continued unabated since the because of his determination to stick with the re-appointment of Prof. B. B. Fakae as Vice-Chancellor, after serving an undeserved first term which did not follow due process. The most worrisome dimension is the scandalous involvement of security agents in this show of shame.

Today, at RSUST, there is widespread abuse of university statutes and mind-boggling illegalities; unqualified lecturers teach postgraduate courses while examinations conducted without respect for requisite requirements. It is disheartening to observe that the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) has been playing an active role as an accomplice in the desecration of our University system by giving its approval to these despicable acts at RSUST. NUC’s continued disregard for its statutory responsibility as a regulatory agency, with the responsibility of maintaining the highest level of ethical and academic standard in Nigerian universities, as evident in RSUST, creates a grave cause for concern among the membership of our Union. We call on the National Assembly, through its oversight functions, to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the role of NUC in the shameless acts of executive obduracy at play in RSUST.

Re-engaged University of Ilorin Lecturers

You would recall that 49 lecturers of the University of Ilorin were unjustly sacked for participation in a nation-wide strike action of our Union in 2001. Despite the Supreme Court judgment, which re-validated their right to unionize and removed the toga of criminality woven around union activities by Unilorin authorities, their entitlements are still denied them. Three years after the landmark judgment, the University still withholds the salary and allowances of some of the affected staff while their entitlements for sabbatical leave and promotions have not been addressed.

We, once again, call on authorities at Unilorin to desist from gagging our members and pitching academics against themselves. A university scholar cannot creatively engage knowledge in an atmosphere of rancor and sponsored bitterness. Neither can they auspiciously fulfill their obligations as agents of change and transformation in their micro community and the wider context of humanity. We shall, therefore, continue to use all legitimate means available to us to protect and defend the interests of academics at the University of Ilorin.
The Seemingly Intractable University of Abuja Crisis

Gentlemen of the Press, it is becoming crystal clear that the Government is insincere in resolving the crisis at the University of Abuja. As you are possibly aware, the Special Visitation Panel, which looked into the monumental crisis that engulfed the University last year, submitted its report in September 2012. However, the Visitor to the University, President Goodluck Jonathan, has continued to vacillate on what to do with the report of the Panel. Meanwhile, the Uniabuja Vice Chancellor, Prof. Samuel Adelabu, continues to operate like a lord and master whose words are laws!

ASUU-NEC calls on the Visitor to Uniabuja to release the White Paper on Special Visitation to Uniabuja without further delay. It is only by doing so and implementing the recommendations of the Visitation Panel that the University can be given a new lease of life that befits a 25-year old university.

IMF/World Bank and Nigeria’s Economic Development

Gentlemen of the Press, as you are well aware, the Nigerian economy is fraught with contradictions and inconsistencies. Unfortunately, it is glaringly under the jugular clutches of Western economists, experts and interests who promote exogenous (external) instead of endogenous (internal) model of development. This model took a firm root when, in “the early 2005 a group of economists, mainly from the Breton Woods Institutions introduced the concept of Inclusive Growth (IG) to replace the erstwhile notion of Growth and Development (GD).” What is most significant about the IG model is its “attempt to run away from the need to accelerate economic development through deliberate policy interventions so as to move millions of humanity out of poverty”.

Having imposed the IG on the country by agents of the World Bank and IMR, it is little surprising that today “economic growth” does not equate to “Nigeria’s development” and prosperity of Nigerians. Key sectors that ought to provide the planks for development and prosperity such as education, power/energy, agriculture and health are in dire state. Government at all levels rather hoists frivolities over the essentials. As recently observed by Prof. Akpan Ekpo, “The implementation of the Transformation Agenda does not preclude the fact that the economy today is characterized by high and rising rate of unemployment particularly among the youths, decayed public school system at all levels, lack of quality public health system, massive corruption, security challenges, among others”.

ASUU-NEC rejects externally imposed models of economic growth that discounts human elements in the equation. The Bretton Woods experts can only further under-develop Nigeria and pauperize her citizens. This is because IG “stresses productive employment rather than income redistribution”; implying that the tiny rich Nigerians will continue to get richer while the mass poor will become poorer.

A non-insulated economy will only be a subservient economy. The solutions to our problems as a nation must be wholly Nigerian-based, Nigerian-driven and Nigerian-centered. The current reliance on the veiled but obvious drivers of our “envelop economy” being presided over and supervised by agents of the IMF/World Bank will only leave us in a worse state than the IBB era. The current jig-saw dilemma of economic blueprints of NEPAD, Vision 20 2020, Transformational Agenda, etc. are bound to fail in so far as they are not based on any indigenous economic paradigm.

2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement

You will recall that ASUU declared a total, indefinite and comprehensive strike on 4th December 2011 in order to prevail on government to sincerely and judiciously implement the 2009 Agreement it freely entered into with our Union. Specifically, ASUU identified the following key areas that were yet to be implemented:

i. Funding requirements for Revitalization of the Nigerian Universities

ii. Federal Government Assistance to State Universities

iii. Establishment of NUPEMCO

iv. Progressive increase in Annual Budgetary Allocation to Education to 26% between 2009 and 2020

v. Earned Allowances

vi. Amendment of the Pension/Retirement Age of Academics on the Professorial cadre from 65 to 70 years

vii. Reinstatement of prematurely dissolved Governing Councils

viii. Transfer of Federal Government Landed Property to Universities

ix. Setting up of Research Development Council and Provision of Research Equipment to laboratories and classrooms in our universities.

However, the strike was suspended on 2nd February 2012. As our Union noted then, “NEC decision had been taken in the interest of the revitalization of the Nigerian Universities. To achieve these goals, ASUU expects the government to fulfill its obligation in respect of funding and all other matters contained in its offers.” When the strike was suspended, ASUU drew attention to the fact that the unimplemented agreement was due for renegotiation in June 2012.

Following the suspension of the strike, government responded by setting up a Committee via TETFund to assess the needs of Nigerian Universities in terms of infrastructure and required quantum of fund. Government also mandated the Implementation Monitoring Committee (IMC) to document and compute the financial implication of implementing the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement. At ASUU’s insistence, many of these conditions have now been met. Yet, the Government has continued to dilly-dally on the implementation.

Out of nine items earlier highlighted, only two of the commitment – reinstatement of Governing Councils and the Amendment of Retirement Age Act – were met. For the past 16 months, several steps, including formal and informal consultations, meetings, personal contacts, have been employed to avert resumption of the suspended action. We seem to have now exhausted all available options. Our members cannot understand why a Government finds it difficult to fulfill an Agreement voluntarily entered into with the Union in 2009 as well as the MoU that was introduced following ASUU’s protest against government’s demonstration of bad faith in 2012.

Gentlemen of the Press, one key aspect of the Agreement where Government has demonstrated insincerity is on the Earned Academic Allowances (EAA). Components of these allowances include responsibility allowances to Heads of Department, Deans of Faculties and other functionaries of the university system.

After the MoU of 26th January 2012, Government accepted in principle to pay EAA. As if to demonstrate its commitment, the IMC under the chairmanship of Dr. Wale Babalakin was assigned the responsibility of working out practical and sustainable ways to do this. When the IMC submitted its recommendations on this aspect of the Agreement, which has run into almost four years, however, the Government suddenly began to give excuses. And, finally, it set aside the recommendations of the IMC on the account of financial difficulties; these were recommendations that came out of serious engagements with officials from relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs). Our Union sees this sudden reversal of gears as a betrayal of trust.

From all indications, it appears Government is yet unprepared to address the challenges facing the Nigerian University System with the urgency that is required. This trend is dangerous, as it constitutes a threat to the relative peace in Nigerian Universities. There can be no justification for Government’s position given what all Nigerians know about the management of the nation’s resources. It is evident that Government is highly deceptive and is not interested in sustaining relative stability in our universities. If Government can betray our Union on the 2009 Agreement, where is the basis of trust for the impending review that was due for 2012?

It is in the light of the above, especially having exhausted all other options, that ASUU-NEC at its meeting in Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, between 29th and 30th June 2013 resolved to call out all its members on a nation-wide strike action beginning from Wednesday, 3rd July, 2013. The strike action is comprehensive and total. Our members shall withdraw their services until Government fully implements all the outstanding aspects of the 2009 Agreement, and commences the process of review of the same Agreement.

Concluding Remarks

Gentlemen of the Press, the time has come to rise in defense of the true liberation of our country. We believe this liberation must begin with education, which is a veritable weapon for socio-economic transformation. The IMF/World Bank and their local collaborators would make Nigerians believe that “basic” or little education is good enough for the children of the poor. It is a ruse.

Our Union counts on the renewed support of the media in challenging agents of underdevelopment who deny less-privileged Nigerians quality higher education, health, employment and other life-transforming elements of development. We equally invite labor activists, students, traders, professional groups, civil society organizations and other progressive segments of the public to join our determined efforts to save Nigeria from her captors.

Thank you for your kind attention.

Nasir F. ISA
President
1st July 2013

Students Protest Mass UTME Failure In Kano

Hundreds of students, who sat for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) on Monday in Kano staged a peaceful demonstration against mass failure and withholding of their results.
Candidates writing the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations organised by JAMB
The students stormed the premises of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria in Kano on motorcycles around noon and carried placards and green leaves to show their anger.

Spokesman for the candidates, Haruna Maidabam, described the withholding of their results as a deliberate attempt to deny them the opportunity to further their studies.

According to him, more than 10, 000 students who sat for the examination in Kano metropolis have yet to access their results.

Mr Maidabam said when the results were released last week, they went to the zonal office of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board in Kano (JAMB) to complain but were directed to go and repeat the thumb printing for verification.

“There is no reason for any verification of thumb- print,” he said.

He called on the authorities concerned to do something urgently to address their predicament.

When contacted, the JAMB Zonal Coordinator, Hajiya Karimatu Abubakar, described the incident as unfortunate and attributed it to “some technical hitches”.

Mr Abubakar said as soon as the hitches were rectified, the issue would be resolved.

JAMB May Not Conduct Examination In Troubled Northern States – Registrar

The Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) may not hold in troubled Northern states on Saturday, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board said on Wednesday.

Addressing Journalists in Abuja, the Registrar/Chief Exec utive of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Dibu Ojerinde, said the board “may not hesitate to stop the examination” if there is any security problem”.

He said, “Yesterday it was a big discussion among some agents as well as JAMB. We believe that things will be alright. Faith, you see, we have the belief that we will surmount the problem.

“If however, there is any problem, we may not hesitate to stop the examination in those areas to the extent that we will now give the children a chance of doing the examination on CBT only.

“If you miss PPT in a challenging area that you cannot do the examination; then you will have to do the next one and that will have to be as from 18th of May.

“With God, we shall not experience any problem. We have put everything humanly possible in place and we have put this before almighty God and we believe He is not going to sleep on that day. But if there is a need for postponement in those places, we shall not hesitate”, he added.

Mr Ojerinde revealed that the Board had concluded arrangements for its first Computer Based Test in 70 centres across the nation from May 18 to June 1.

This is an alternative to the Dual Based Test and Paper Pencil Test scheduled for this Saturday.

He, however, added that the CBT candidates still have the option to take Dual Based Test or Paper Pencil Test on Saturday.

The Board advised CBT candidates to go online to reprint their e-slip form as “inevitable amendments had been made on the time-table for the CBT examination”.

Of the 1,735,720 registered for this year’s examination, 1,629,102 candidates applied for PPT; 15,008 for DBT and 91,610 for CBT. The total figure represents 13.35 percent increase from last year.

No fewer than 145 visually impaired candidates and 196 inmates from Kaduna and Lagos prisons also registered for the examination.

The examination will hold simultaneously in 3,168 centres in 378 towns in Nigeria and six foreign centres of Accra (Ghana), Buea in Cameroon, Cotonou in Republic of Benin, London, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Johannesburg in South Africa.

Mr Ojerinde disclosed that candidates have the opportunity to change their choices of institutions and courses once only within two weeks after releasing the results.

He also warned that the officials caught in examination malpractices will be prosecuted.

“I want to sound a note of warning once more that those trying to compromise our well organised arrangement shall be made to face the full wrath of the law.

“The Board is hereby appealing to all candidates to strictly adhere to all laid -down rules by conducting themselves properly during the examination.”

Nigerian Universities Are Inadequate, Dilapidated and Overcrowded – Mahmud Yakubu

The former executive secretary of Tertiary Education Tax Fund, Prof Mahmud Yakubu has said the facilities in our universities are inadequate, dilapidated and overstretched.

Prof. Mahmud made these remarks while speaking at the 30th anniversary of the Olabisi Onabanjo University which is tagged Nigerian Tertiary Education In Crisis “The way forward”.

The professor said physical facilities for teaching and learning in Nigerian universities are inadequate, he further explained that many lecturers including professors share small offices.

He also stated that most universities are dilapidated with poorly ventilated and over- crowed classrooms.

Mahmud noted that the state of the poor facilities of the universities has been brought to the notice of the government.

 

 

NANS President Escapes Assassination Attempt In Jos

The crisis rocking the recent elections of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) took a new dimension as hoodlums attacked the entourage of the newly elected president in Jos on Thursday with accusing fingers pointed at one of the contestants.

The newly elected president of National Association of Nigerian Students, Yinka Gbadebo and some members of the association escaped an attempt on their lives in Jos, north central Nigeria while on tour of campuses across the country.

Comrade Yinka Gbadebo in a press briefing in Jos narrated how a group of assassins attacked him and his entourage at a hotel in Ray field area of Jos with guns and machetes and kidnapped one of his colleague as well as destroying the association vehicle but one of the assailants was apprehended and handed over to the police.

“Prince Miaphen sent a group of assassins after me and my entourage on Thursday 7th Feb, 2013. The assassins arrived Rayfied area in Jos at about 7:30 a.m. with guns and matchete but they couldn’t locate me. Unfortunately, they kidnapped one of my colleagues, comrade Dimeji Azeez of the University of Ibadan,” he said. Mr. Gbadebo added that despite coming 7th out of 12 candidates in the election, Mr. Miaphen has been parading himself as the elected president of NANS. The union leader said he got 32 votes out of the total votes cast during the convention to emerge President of the Association, while Mr. Miaphen got 18 votes.

Addressing pressmen on the assassination attempt on his life, Yinka Gbadebo expressed concern on the attitude of the contestants that has been parading himself as NANS president with a final onslaught on his life.

The outgoing NANS president, Dauda Mohammed had a dose of the attack as his vehicle was vandalized and lost some valuables to the attackers.

The matter is being investigated by security agencies as it needs to be urgently addressed with adequate legal steps taken towards the prosecution of the accused which will serve as deterrent to others in the future.

FEC approves report on strengthening Nigerian universities

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the tertiary education report which is aimed at strengthening Nigerian Universities and eliminates the weaknesses that have brought down the standard of education in the country.

Briefing state house correspondents after the weekly council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku said that apart from the issue of poor funding there are other systemic issues relating to the vision of the various universities, improper utilisation of resources as well as regulations that need to be tackled.

“The report which was ordered by the president following the last ASUU strike brought together stakeholders in the tertiary educational system to examine the state of development of our universities and to look at all the issues that have continued to lead to friction and also lower standards in the university system.

“So in order that we would be able to come up with a very, very comprehensive intervention policy, Mr President felt there was a need to draw in other stakeholders, particularly state governments. And after the presentation to the National Economic Council, Mr President will then proceed to agree on an intervention formula following a thorough analysis of the report that has been presented to us today,” Mr Maku said.

The Minister said the Council also recommended that it has become necessary for the National Universities Commission to begin to enforce basic minimum standards in terms of infrastructure, staff/student ratio and facilities, to ensure that the universities meet the best standards compared to any other in the world.

The Council also approved the Nigerian sugar master plan to reverse the decline in sugar production in the country.

The Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga decried the situation where over 90 percent of sugar used in the country is imported.

He said that Nigeria will benefit from the master plan which will enable the country produce 1,797 tonnes of sugar annually as well as generate 400 megawatts of power.

“Sugar is a very strategic commodity. It is strategic because it creates a lot of jobs. For you to have a sugar manufacturing firm, you have to have sugarcane farms. Sugarcanes farms create a lot of jobs,” Mr Aganga said.

“It also produces ethanol which is a source for electricity. This will help to save a lot of foreign exchange,” the Minister added.

Nigeria’s Vision 202020 dream is an illusion–ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said Nigeria’s aim to become one of the top 20 economies in the world  by 2020 will remain an illusion if the nation’s tertiary education is not overhauled. 

In a statement on Monday signed by its National President, Dr. Nasir Isa, ASUU noted that,“unless something drastic and fundamental is done about the universities where those who drive the other levels of education are produced” the Vision 202020 is far-fetched .

Reacting to the recent release of funds by TETFUND to some universities, the academic body of lectures noted “the intervention of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) were beginning to make a difference on university campuses” but added that “TETFUND, as an intervention agency, was not conceived of, and should not be a replacement for government shelving its responsibility on adequate funding of its universities.”

The statement further allege that, “for five months, following the resolution of the dispute between ASUU and the Government on the need to address the rot in Nigerian universities as a matter of urgency, reliable scientific data have been obtained from the universities.”

“Accordingly, ASUU expects the Federal Government to release urgently the agreed N100billion special intervention for sole purpose of addressing some of the prioritized needs immediately the Needs Assessment Report is released.”

ASUU also called on the federal government not to renege on the release of additional N400billion subsequently for the next two years as agreed with the body.

Meanwhile, the union has alleged that state governors posed the biggest problem to state universities in Nigeria today.

ASUU claimed that most governors have turned universities into “appendages of their offices and extension of personal estates.”

It claimed the governors manipulate the system, disregard university laws and show outright discontent for what universities stand for.

 

NUC lifts suspension on three private Universities

The National Universities’ Commission (NUC) on Monday lifted the suspension order placed on three universities out of the six it announced initially.

According to the NUC Bulletin the universities are the Joseph Ayo Babalola University, (JABU), Ikeji-Arakeji in Osun, the Achiever’s University, Owo also in Osun and Tansian University at Umunya, Anambra.

The Commission said the suspension was lifted because of the corrective measures taken by the universities to rectify the infractions leading to the suspension of their operational licenses.

The bulletin said that NUC would soon send a team to conduct fresh forensic audit on the six private universities, whose licenses were earlier suspended.

The NUC listed the six universities as Madonna University, Okija; Achiever’s University, Owo; and Tansian University, Umunya.

Others listed by the commission are Caritas University, Amorji-Nike, Enugu, Lead City University, Ibadan, and Joseph Ayo Babalola University, (JABU), Ikeji- Arakeji, Osun.

The NUC said the auditing would cover all aspects of the universities’ operations.

It will also continue to monitor the universities implementation of agreed actions.

The commission announced that it will ensure that all universities in Nigeria comply with its extant guidelines and regulations.

Jonathan orders expulsion of unqualified UNIABUJA students

President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday ordered the Minister of Education, Ruqqayat Rufai, to ensure the expulsion of unqualified students from the University of Abuja.
Giving the order while swearing in a new minister, Inuwa Abdulkadir and the chairman and members of the Federal Civil Service Commission at the State House, Abuja, Mr Jonathan directed the minister to set up a committee to compile the list of unqualified students and flush them out.
He accused unnamed politicians of forcing the students on the institution, which was a major reason for the crisis in the institution.

Minister warns JAMB over illegal admissions

The Minister of Education, Ruqayyatu Rufai on Monday warned the Joint Admission and Matriculations Board (JAMB) against admitting candidates without prerequisite qualification and certificates.

The Minister of Education, Ruqayyatu Rufai

Mrs Rufai gave this warning at the 2012 Combined Policy Meeting on Admission to Degree-Awarding institutions, National Diploma (ND), Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) and National Innovation Diploma (NID) awarding institutions.

The Minister said admission should not be given to candidates who applied for the National Certificate of Education (NCE), National Diploma (ND) or the Interim Joint Matriculation Board Examination (IJMBE) without the prerequisite Advance Level (A/L) certificate.

She said it is illegal for some institutions, especially the universities to equate their foundation programmes with the ‘A’ level certificate.
“The programme is for a period of one academic year, and thereafter, the students are admitted into 200 levels through direct entry, this is illegal.

“All `A’ Level equivalents should pass through the National Council on Education for approval. We have got to do the right thing.

“The Tertiary Education Department is hereby directed to collect the names of erring institutions for appropriate disciplinary action.”

Mrs Rufa’i announced the cut-off mark for admission into colleges of education and polytechnics for the 2012/2013 academic session in the country as 160 and 180 for all federal universities.

The Registrar and Chief Executive of JAMB, Adedibu Ojerinda, insisted that all institutions must adhere strictly to the entry requirements as documented in the board’s brochure and comply with the admission schedules.

“Institutions should ensure compliance with approved admission guidelines, bearing in mind such criteria as catchment, educationally-less developed states, quota, carrying-capacity and national cut-off marks.’’

The registrar said that available statistics indicated a disturbing trend regarding attendance and compliance at the two Technical Committee meetings in 2011 held in Owerri and llorin.

He said only few institutions used JAMB list in 2011 admissions.
“The board frowns at this and hopes that the 2012 admission will be an improvement upon last year’s,’’ he said

He added that all foreign-based and physically-challenged candidates, who sat for the 2012 UTME and made the national minimum cut-off mark should be given due consideration.

The Chairman of the Committee of Provosts in Nigeria, Isa Abubakar, who spoke on behalf of the federal universities, said that the agreed cut off point for admission into universities is 180 while the Chairman, Council of Heads of Polytechnics and Colleges of Technology in Nigeria (COHEADS), Mohammed Nabade said that the cut-off mark for admission into colleges and polytechnics is 160.