Nigeria now has 141 accredited universities, Professor Julius Okojie, Executive Secretary of National University Commission, NUC said on Wednesday while briefing the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, and Minister of State for Education, Professor Anthony Anwukah on the activities of the Commission.
Okojie briefed the ministers alongside other heads of parastatals in the ministry on the mandates, organization structure, achievements and challenges of their various agencies.
The Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board, Professor Dibu Ojerinde and the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro took their turns to brief the Ministers and the Permanent Secretary, Dr (Mrs) Folasade Yemi-Esan at the meeting which was aimed at acquainting the Ministers about the operations of the parastatals.
Okojie gave the breakdown of the number of universities to include 40 Federal, 40 State and 61 private universities, adding that the institutions now rank very high among international community system.
The NUC boss said the Commission from its formation to the present day has continued to grow from strength to strength especially in its thrust mandate which is to improve access and quality of University Education in Nigeria.
He also stressed that the Commission has continued to maintain high standard on the issue of accreditation of universities and their courses.
Similarly, Professor Ojerinde said that JAMB has continued to improve on its services thereby easing the conduct of the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and speedy release of result of the examination which is now completely computerized.
According to him, about 600 Centres have been identified for the 2016 exercise including special Centres for the physically challenged and candidates in the Diaspora.
Professor Ojerinde, however expressed worries over the discriminatory cut-off marks of 180 and 150 respectively adopted each year by the policy Committee in favour of Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, stressing that the practice defeats the aim of the Unified Tertiary Matriculations Examination.
The Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Professor Suleiman Bogoro said that the Fund has become a brand for many African countries, noting that five countries have now established similar fund modeled after the Nigerian experience.
Professor Bogoro reiterated the strategic importance of the Fund which he noted has also been widely acknowledged to be the messiah of the education system especially since the time it was dedicated to service of tertiary institutions alone.
He emphasized that special attention was being accorded capacity building for staff in the various institutions and exhibited photographs of infrastructure developed by the agency.
The Minister promised to carefully study the briefing documents submitted by the agencies.
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