• Warn varsities ‘ll lose accreditation if they cheat


The National Universities Commission (NUC) has  blamed the proliferation of illegal degree awarding institutions on parents who he said had placed a premium on university certification.

According to the Acting Executive Secretary, Mr. Chris Maiyaki,  unaccredited degree awarding institutions and satellite campuses remained banned in the country.

He advised parents to thoroughly scrutinise institutions before sending their wards their to acquire certificates.

“Everybody is right to pursue university education but how you go about it is the crux of the matter.

“The challenge of access, the huge gap between supply and demand makes parents desperate about getting university education for their children  and this makes them vulnerable to greedy and fraudulent persons with commercial undertone,” he said.

Maiyaki explained that a committee was however set up to stamp out illegal institutions across the country.

“When we were challenged by this menace of our satellite campuses, NUC in 2000 undertook resource assessment of all outreach centres and we came up with the state of affairs of satellite campuses.

“We wrote to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and FEC was so gracious and there was a total ban on satellite campuses at that time.

“We took a step further at NUC and shut down these centres. So satellite campuses remain banned and outlawed.

“We establish a committee on the closure of illegal universities and we mandated it to identify, locate and prosecute those perpetrating illegalities and we also do this in a multi- stakeholders collaboration involving security agencies,” he said.

He also said a committee was reconstituted in 2021 to identify and prosecute operators of illegal institutions noting that effort  recorded a huge success.

Meanwhile, the NUC has warned universities to desist from cutting corners during accreditation visitations or risk their programmes’ approval being revoked.

Maiyaki, who gave the warning in Abuja, said institutions and programmes that fall short of the threshold of the minimum academic standards and resource assessment benchmarks, would be denied accreditation.

“If a university is approved and the university wants to mount a programme, they will write to the NUC to come and undertake resource assessment which is the beginning.

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“We will go with our curriculum which is the minimum standards, put together a team of subject experts and NUC staff, evaluate the capability statement and look at the quantity and quality of resources available to the institutions.

“We will look at the personnel, both in teaching and non-teaching categories, the learning resources available to them, and the libraries, both in hard and  e-learning configurations.

“Do they have the teaching aids, classrooms, and ICT penetration?  We will check the learning process from the beginning to the end, and issue an outcome statement which is very important.”

Maiyaki said the outcome statement forms is the basis of what the Commission would communicate to Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and the public.

“We will send it to the NYSC so that when the students finally graduate, there will be nothing like whether they are illegal or not. Then, we will give a symbol of authority and that is the major quality assurance measure to be or not to be.

“When we find you falling short of the threshold, you cannot proceed; when the approval matures, we then undertake accreditation, which is the major function and core mandate of the NUC.”

He said right quality, and the fulfillment of the mandate of the philosophy of course content, among other conditions must be met before a definite statement for accreditation would be issued.

“After we have issued the definite statement for accreditation and you are found to be consistent with non performance, we will give you denied accreditation.

“If you are short of a certain threshold, we will give you an interim accreditation. But, if we are to enable you to remedy the deficiencies and we return after two years and you have interim accreditation again back-to-back, then you are considered to be denied accreditation.

“But, if you have full accreditation, then you will continue with the programme,” he said.

He said in the past the Commission had suspended license operations of some private universities, and even stopped some federal universities` programmes to enable them go back to the drawing board to right their wrongs.

“We came into being in 1962 as a small administrative and advisory unit in the cabinet office of the Prime Minister. At that time, there were probably five universities.

“And between the advent of the university of Ibadan in 1958 till date, we have 270 universities; 61 federal public universities funded, 63 state owned public funded, and 146 universities that are private.

“As I said, the rest is history now. Two of these developments of what we now have as the contemporary Nigerian University System (NUS), the NUC has played a very pivotal role in the evolution; in the emergence of the system.

“How do we go about it? What is our business with the university evolution? We are empowered by the laws of the NUC to lay down minimum academic standards.

“We are the regulatory, coordinating and quality assurance agency for university education,” he said.