Executive Secretary, Nigerian Universities Commission,NUC, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, has said that prosecuting illegal universities is outside the jurisdiction of the Commission.
Rasheed averred this during a Press Conference held in Abuja on Wednesday.
It was recalled that NUC had promised to sensitise tertiary institutions in the country by cramping down all illegal universities.
While filling questions from journalists, Rasheed said NUC is not an enforcement agency but a regulatory agency that could only publicise the illegal universities for the public to be aware of such institutions as not to fall victims.
The NUC boss, who reinforced the commission’s commitment to improving quality assurance of Nigerian universities, however, accused parents of abetting the illegal activities of these universities.
” We are not an enforcement agency, we cannot punish these universities, we can only expose them by advertising the institutions for people to know, but the commission is collaborating with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences,ICPC, to flush out illegal universities in the system.
“We have set up a committee to look into that and I can tell you that we are doing a lot to end the ugly trend of illegal universities,” said Rasheed.
While briefing on the standard of Nigerian education, the Executive Secretary said Nigerian universities are not performing badly in the global scene as widely projected, adding that Nigeria tertiary institutions are among institutions producing best graduates in the world.
” Nigerian universities are not badly performing as you think, Nigeria is producing best students. In fact, Nigerian graduates are among best students in foreign schools.
Relentlessly, Rasheed opined that though Nigeria came top 5000 in the recent university global ranking, more is needed to be done for Nigeria to continue competing favourably world over.
He said though the recent rating of Nigerian universities in an International ranking was recommendable, the NUC boss harped on increased investment in Nigerian education sector.
” Nigeria cannot compete well in International ranking in terms of funding, facilities, and security. These are things that attract foreign students. For Nigeria to be enlisted in top 5000 is something commendable because foreign education invest more in the system and Nigeria needs to invest in education.
Explaining the effort of NUC in helping Nigerian universities gain footing in both local and international ranking, Rasheed said
to improve the ranking necessitated the Commission to consirute Committee, Nigerian Universities Ranking Advisory Committee, NURAC, with members drawn from six Geo-political zones headed by the former executive secretary of the NUC, Peter Okebukola.
The Committee saddled with inspecting quality assurance of universities, advisory agents would not work to shame any university but with the aim to raise quality consciousness in Nigerian universities.
While admitting that university rating in Nigeria is political, the Executive Secretary, reiterated readiness of the Commission to continually encourage the Committee to do their work as an independent entity for transparency.